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America's Cup: No major announcements at RNZYS members briefing

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World NZ 15 Jun 10:43 BST 15 June 2021
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron © RNZYS

The America's Cup briefing for Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron members only, turned into a rather low-key affair, with no major announcements.

The Ball-Room at RNZYS was standing room only, according to a report from one of those present.

There was little discussion of the reported attempts by a group of RNZYS members to gather signatures calling for a Special General Meeting over the handling of the next America's Cup.

CEO Grant Dalton addressed the meeting re-iterating what had already been announced about a Protocol being made public on September 17, six months after the ETNZ/RNZYS win.

More information may be forthcoming on later this week, from Wellington, following the conclusion of the 90-day "good faith" negotiation period.

Experienced America's Cup correspondent Todd Niall was outside the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron:

Around 20 members of the team fronted up for a meeting, including skipper Peter Burling, designer Dan Bernasconi, and chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge, at the Westhaven headquarters that is home to the Auld Mug for the third time.

Dalton spoke for about 20 minutes in an environment described to Stuff by one squadron member as “cordial”.

The member, who didn’t wish to be named, felt Dalton handled the situation well, getting points across and willingly answering questions, though he was described as “evasive” on some specifics.

The reasoning kept coming back to money and, while there was still hope of a home defence, the squadron member left with a feeling that “the writing is on the wall”.

Dalton told Stuff that despite a lack of an agreement so far, the negotiations with the Government and the Auckland Council had been “great” and he understood their position.

“I’ve been watching the nurses strike, and the floods, and thought that these are real priorities – the Covid response etc – and what they have put up (as an offer) is completely reasonable,” he said.

Stuff understands the offer from the Government in recent weeks has included a cash amount similar to the $40 million contributed to event costs for the 36th cup, with additional support “in-kind”.

Dalton laid it on the line for the squadron members, outlining its aim to be the first team to win three cups in a row, yet at the same time being at its most vulnerable over the past six years.

Dalton said most winning teams had broken up from within, and the defender had to “keep together and be funded, so we can achieve something that has not been done before.”

He said the aim was to keep the trophy in the cabinet at the yacht squadron in Westhaven, and it needed to be properly funded to do that, with the location of the regatta a moot point.

For the full report by Todd Niall click here

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