In Auckland Favourite to host next America's Cup

Auckland has firmed as favourite to host the next America's Cup after holder Team New Zealand canvassed the prospect of holding the regatta there in 2021.

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New Zealand's Auckland has firmed as favourite to host the next America's Cup, in 2021 play

New Zealand's Auckland has firmed as favourite to host the next America's Cup, in 2021

(AFP/File)
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Auckland has firmed as favourite to host the next America's Cup after holder Team New Zealand canvassed the prospect of holding the regatta there in 2021.

New Zealand won the Auld Mug last month with an emphatic 7-1 victory over Oracle Team USA in Bermuda and, as defender of the trophy, gets to set the terms of the next regatta.

"(We) are considering the possibility of the 36th America's Cup match and the preceding challenger selection series being conducted in Auckland in early 2021 during the New Zealand summer," it said in a statement this week.

The statement, issued jointly with the official challenger Luna Rossa of Italy, also suggested there would be tighter rules about where the yachts are built and who crews them.

"The protocol will contain a 'constructed in country' requirement for competing yachts and a nationality requirement for competing crew members," it said.

Details of the planned defence will be released in September.

It will specify what type of yachts to use -- the hi-tech foiling catamarans used in Bermuda or traditional monohulls -- as well as confirming the venue.

The Cup, international sports' oldest trophy dating back to 1851, has been plagued by criticism in recent years that it has become a billionaires' plaything.

The likes of Oracle's American owner Larry Ellison and Swiss pharmaceuticals magnate Ernesto Bertarelli have bankrolled successful campaigns by hiring the best crews, designers and builders from around the world.

Ellison had wanted to hold the Cup every two years and ensure future versions used foiling catamarans, which rise spectacularly from the water as they speed along.

But New Zealand was the only challenger at the Bermuda regatta that refused to sign up to the changes, saying Oracle had no right to try to impose its will on future Cups if it lost the trophy.

New Zealand syndicate head Grant Dalton has said he wants to bring the cost of competing in the race down, as well as introducing nationality rules and sticking with the every four years timeframe.

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