Auckland’s chances of hosting 36th Match get a boost

Sir Stephen Tindall, Emirates Team New Zealand Board Chairman, and one of New Zealand’s business leaders, and Founder of The Warehouse Group has announced that he is taking a year’s leave of absence from the business. His 12-month leave of absence, after a 35-year involvement, will be from now until October 2018.

A formal press statement issued by the publicly listed company advised that Tindall’s time-out would enable him to focus on other commitments, ‘in particular the securing of the necessary infrastructure in Auckland to host a defence of the America’s Cup, as well as opportunities for K1W1 and the ongoing work of The Tindall Foundation.’

When asked to comment further on his role, Sir Stephen told Sail-World ‘I’m going to work hard on “making sure we have it in AUCKLAND”.

‘Very simple.’

Sir Stephen’s involvement will add a new dimension to the analysis of four options for bases and other issues associated with the start up of a Defence organisation.

Auckland Harbour options – Halsey Street extension is the dotted line – and not scheduled to come into consideration until the 2030 plan comes up for review. © Auckland Council

The most viable of these would appear to be the extension Halsey Street. However, almost a third of the Auckland Council voted for that to be taken off the list of options sent to the CEO for further investigation and analysis, and several others said they opposed it, however, wanted it left on the list only for the sake of receiving comment on the full range of options.

A key issue with all options is whether they could be available in time for the teams to set up in mid-2019. The teams are permitted to launch their first of two AC75 yachts after March 31, 2019 – three months ahead of the projected occupancy date.

A second issue is a difficulty the Auckland Council seem to have in adopting a proposal that doesn’t have a legacy or business plan attached to it. The Halsey Street extension was added as ‘futureproofing’ when included in the Council’s Long Term Plan in 2012.

The Challenger Luna Rossa returns to the crowds gathered around Auckland Viaduct Harbour after racing in the 2000 America’s Cup © Bob Greiser/America’s Cup

Other options under consideration have another use planned after the 2021 America’s Cup and apparently, don’t take into account a successful Defence by Team New Zealand, or winning the America’s Cup back at some future time in case of it being lost in 2021.

Auckland Council is expected to have to negotiate a Hosting Agreement with one of the Team New Zealand business entities, and that has to be signed off under the Protocol governing the 2021 America’s Cup by August 2018.

In previous recent America’s Cups, the practice has been to establish a marketing and event management organisation allied with but separate from the sailing team who concentrate on mounting a successful Defence. It is expected that a similar practice will be adopted in Auckland.

If Auckland fails to get a hosting agreement signed by the Protocol deadline then the 36th Match for the America’s Cup will shift to an Italian venue.

Story and images courtesy of

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