Team NZ should not turn up

June 6th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Dana Johannsen writes:

Team New Zealand should not enter the next America’s Cup.

Considering the Kiwi syndicate’s long association with the event, and how agonisingly close Dean Barker and his crew got to snatching the Auld Mug away from Oracle last September, that is not an easy statement to make. But scouring the 78-page document released yesterday outlining the rules for the next America’s Cup, it is difficult to find a compelling reason for Emirates Team NZ to be involved.

The terms imposed by defenders Oracle Team USA are among the most self-serving rules that have been tabled in the 163-year history of the event. Team NZ, and the other potential challengers should not play any part in it.

Hear, hear.

Those that do make it through to the playoffs will have to ensure they design a boat to meet the conditions of two potentially very different venues, with the timing of the America’s Cup qualifiers suggesting a Southern Hemisphere venue, while the playoffs and Cup match will be held at a yet-to-be-determined venue in the US or Bermuda.

The defenders, meanwhile, have the luxury of being able to build and test two boats, insuring them against a catastrophic failure. How this rule got sign-off from the challenger of record is a mystery. Iain Murray, who heads Team Australia, the challenger of record, admitted there was a lot of “arguing” over this particular clause but hasn’t offered any explanation as to how Oracle won the argument.

Only allowing the defender a second boat is outrageous.

Given the defenders are quite comfortable to impose such blatantly self-serving rules, the challengers should leave Oracle to sail their two catamarans against themselves. 

Yep. The challengers have the power if they are united.  Team NZ should lead the way and say they won’t be there unless the rules change.

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38 Responses to “Team NZ should not turn up”

  1. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    They shouldn’t enter if were simply a sport, but isn’t the whole point of this thing to enable a bunch of rich wankers to show off and prance about in front of cameras?

    So long as they get to do that, it’s tally ho, old chap.

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  2. lazza (382 comments) says:

    That settles it. I (We- NZ too?) are really! “OVER” the A Cup … and Spooky Larry along with it.

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  3. doggone7 (818 comments) says:

    When the bully over the fence invites you over to play with the idea of you going over so they prove their superiority over you, you don’t go. When you go because you want to be seen to be in the ‘in’ crowd and don’t want to miss out on the fun then they say, “This is how it’s going to be played” and lay down the rules to ensure they end up on top, you go home.

    If they were serious about aspects like letting the defender race in a challenger series, they’d put the cup up on that series.

    If they were serious about a fair competition they’d ensure that syndicates would be allowed to build the same number of boats instead of the rule allowing the defender two and challengers one.

    Tell the Oracle mob to get stuffed. Everyone should stay home. I’m sure they’d enjoy playing with themselves.

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  4. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Let the A cup fade into obscurity. No reason why the other countries can’t get together and start a new international competition that has rules more pertinent to today’s environment and that can’t be manipulated to ensure the winner keeps it.

    They’ve got their America’s cup – let it stay there, it appears to me they like playing with themselves – long may that continue.

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  5. ciaron (1,441 comments) says:

    Yep. The challengers have the power if they are united. Team NZ should lead the way and say they won’t be there unless the rules change.

    Laz couldn’t give a flying fuck if we turn up. Jeez, I really wonder why kiwis have this self imposed fantasy that the Americas cup is some sort of “fair sport”… It is as Peter points out, a pissing contest for rich white men – and HAS ALWAYS BEEN THUS!

    Disclaimer; I have done work for several syndicates during the 2000 event in Auckland.

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  6. burt (8,309 comments) says:

    and how agonisingly close Dean Barker and his crew got to snatching the Auld Mug away from Oracle last September

    What a joke, it was like a fixed cricket match that had to run to fill the allocated network time to keep the high paying advertisers happy.

    NO PUBLIC MONEY FOR THE WEALTHIEST SPORT ON THE PLANET !

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  7. s.russell (1,646 comments) says:

    Hear hear. No longer interested. If it’s a fair competition, maybe. But a setup? No. I endorse the conclusion of doggone7: “Tell the Oracle mob to get stuffed. Everyone should stay home. I’m sure they’d enjoy playing with themselves.”

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  8. Manolo (14,030 comments) says:

    Enough of it. Leave it to the people concerned and interested.

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  9. Captain Pugwash (98 comments) says:

    I sometimes think TVNZ should be renamed TV-Americas Cup. Outside of good old NZ nobody really cares about the Americas cup. I was in the states last year & even the yanks couldn’t care less.

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  10. freethinker (694 comments) says:

    NOt often I agree with Judith but she is right negotiate with other likely contenders for a new cup – perhaps The World Yachting cup and don’t invite Ego Larry or Spiteful Jimmy, let them plays with themselves like Len!

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  11. kowtow (8,733 comments) says:

    ciaron asks ,why kiwis have this self obsessed …… cos those twats at TVNZ have gone so mentally overboard on it for all these years…..”the Americas cup is the new zealand” blah blah fucken blah…….

    Team NZ should not turn up and the taxpayer must most definitely not be turned over!

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  12. Tarquin North (352 comments) says:

    Using the words sport and Americas Cup in the same sentence is just plain wrong.

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  13. ciaron (1,441 comments) says:

    I think you’re right kowtow. The public got sucked in starting in ’87, everyone get in behind “our” campaign, and how about the ’88 debacle for interpreting the rules to suit the defender? I still have somewhere the $20 bond from the National bank for the ’92 effort, and a few stienie cans from the ’95 win.

    The truth of the matter is that we don’t have anyone really rich enough to play the game, so everyone chipped in like the good little unknowing socialists we are to “make it happen”, Little old NZ taking on the world and all that crap. What was so surprising was how deeply people fell for it, as evidenced by the “loyal’ and “black heart” mobs.

    having said all that, the company I was working for at the time grew from 20-25 people to over a hundred with round the clock shifts, so there was some economic benefit to the whole thing…

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  14. Ross12 (1,453 comments) says:

    I won’t comment either way on the worth of another challenge but will just say that what Dulton said last night about the rules issue was that at the start of the last challenge Team NZ was in the same position –no experience in sailing or designing large multi-hulls , did not know anything about foils etc.
    This “competition” has always involved skulduggery in terms of rules –it is part of the game. Those that want challenge now have to get into the gamesmanship bit to force changes they think are necessary. I see it is the inexperienced teams ( those that have not challenged before ) that are putting their hands up quick. I hope they don’t get burnt by Oracles games.

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  15. slernz (33 comments) says:

    Team NZ should not turn up unless they can fund the challenge themselves without public funds. If they cannot do that they do not belong there regardless of the rules.

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  16. mikenmild (11,662 comments) says:

    I’m completely confident Team NZ will contest the next cup, whatever the rules. What else are they going to do? Stay at home producing nothing for their backers?

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  17. Brian Smaller (4,024 comments) says:

    It is as Peter points out, a pissing contest for rich white men – and HAS ALWAYS BEEN THUS!

    Team NZ was primarily sponsored by an Arab airline. They may be rich but they are not just ‘white men’.

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  18. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    Thank god. Steven Joyce will be devastated at having to spend his $40m on core government services instead.

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  19. ciaron (1,441 comments) says:

    Brian, look at history:
    James Lloyd Ashbury
    Earl of Dunraven
    Charles Oliver Iselin
    Sir Thomas Lipton
    Thomas W. Lawson
    Harold Vanderbilt
    Henry Sears
    Alan Bond
    Sir Michael Fay
    et al.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America's_Cup

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  20. maxwell (56 comments) says:

    Losing from 8-1 up was easily the biggest choke in NZ sporting history.

    Realistically that was our last chance of winning the bloody thing and no more public money
    should go towards it.

    I would happily trade our 2011 Rugby World Cup win for the America’s Cup last year because we’re always going to be a chance for the Rugby Cup – get out of pool play and win 3 games on the trot. I might be naive to believe if we had won, the next regatta would be fairer, sooner and a lot cheaper.

    Has Oracle allowed for a defenders series to choose the defender ? While that might produce the best boat & sailors to defend the Cup it could mean Larry losing control of the defence, and, if won, subsequent loaded dice rule changes.

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  21. Liberty (269 comments) says:

    The America Cup has been great.
    We have been there done that.
    Now it is time to move on.

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  22. ciaron (1,441 comments) says:

    Losing from 8-1 up was easily the biggest choke in NZ sporting history.

    I think that’s pretty harsh, the truth is that Laz’s pockets were deep enough when it counted. TNZ was pissing all over Oracle for the first half of the series, then just when they needed to, Oracle made the next developmental step and started pissing all over TNZ. It’s not choking when your boat’s slower.

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  23. Paulus (2,658 comments) says:

    Remember it originally was called correctly the “Thousand Guinea’s Trophy”.
    It was only many years later when an American Team won a number of times that they changed the name (unilaterally).
    Sorry and all that but the US have no concept of fair play – never did.
    Might as well let the US Lawyers decide who won.
    I, on all the last occasions, made a contribution towards the TNZ, but no more.
    Goodbye Ellison.
    And I will be bloody annoyed if any of my hard earned “Taxpayers” money is contributed.
    Let TNZ go elsewhere.

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  24. rangitoto (248 comments) says:

    I’m surprised Bob Oatley as leader of the CoR agreed to this protocol. I wonder if they will even turn up. ML, the original CoR for the last cup folded and were a no show. As far as TNZ and Dalts go, I don’t have any problem with them pursuing another challenge but they should go it alone. The public purse should not help out this time.

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  25. mikenmild (11,662 comments) says:

    The cup is named after the first winner, the yacht ‘America’.

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  26. ciaron (1,441 comments) says:

    It was only many years later when an American Team won a number of times that they changed the name (unilaterally).
    I don’t think that’s correct. It was called the Americas Cup, because the inaugural winner was the schooner America.

    The surviving members of the syndicate which owned the yacht America, the first winner of what would become the America’s Cup (née “Royal Yacht Squadron Cup” or the “RYS Cup for One Hundred Sovereigns”),[citation needed] donated the America’s Cup through a deed of gift to the New York Yacht Club on July 8, 1857. The cup would be held in trust as a “challenge trophy” to promote friendly competition among nations, with the deed of gift being the primary instrument governing the rules to make a valid challenge for the America’s Cup and the rules of conduct of the races.

    Edit: mikey beat me to it.

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  27. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    “Team New Zealand should not enter the next America’s Cup.”

    Agreed.

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  28. Scott Chris (6,176 comments) says:

    Only allowing the defender a second boat is outrageous.

    Yes I agree. But I have an idea. 2 or more of the challenging syndicates should build identical boats and share cost whilst testing different gear options.

    Gang up on the fuckers.

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  29. ciaron (1,441 comments) says:

    Yes I agree. But I have an idea. 2 or more of the challenging syndicates should build identical boats and share cost whilst testing different gear options.

    Prada and TNZ did a similar deal to this last time.

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  30. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    I think the French approach would work well.

    Send in a frogman with a limpet mine.

    These things are only fibreglass, you wouldn’t need a very big mine.

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  31. ciaron (1,441 comments) says:

    These things are only fibreglass, you wouldn’t need a very big mine.

    That’s soooooooooooo 1987…

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  32. G152 (385 comments) says:

    There are plenty of yachting events that don’t need millions of dollars expended on a flash bit of kit that is outdated before it hits the water.
    Leave the American billionaires to play in their pool and get back to the basics

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  33. tas (641 comments) says:

    What a joke. Tell Larry to stick it. He can build his two boats and race them against each other.

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  34. Steve (North Shore) (4,587 comments) says:

    What a lot of wreckers and haters. Any Govt funding would amount to less to less than 30 minutes when compared to 1 year of Govt spending. You bloody greedy socialist want any Govt money just for yourselves. Rich mans sport my left tit, so is F1.
    I wish we could bring back Peter Blake, the sponsor funding and the public funding he organised were fantastic. There are too many selfish little bitches (it’s all about me) nowdays

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  35. adze (2,129 comments) says:

    I was a huge Americas Cup fan back in the day, but yep, if they’re going to be that stupid with the rules, screw them. No ultimatums – just don’t go. And f*ck that Oracle skipper Spithill’s patronising comment expecting NZ participation.

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  36. marcw (254 comments) says:

    @ adze: Spithill’s true colours coming through. They are so scared shitless that TNZ will clean them up this time, they knowingly slant the rules to disadvantage them even getting started. Spithills comments are part of the deliberate mind games. Personally though I love the Cup for what it’s done for NZ, it’s time to give them the bird and tell them to play with themselves.

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  37. allgoodal (14 comments) says:

    It’s a bloody mugs game this time round. We’d be better off trying to land a kiwi on the moon.

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  38. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    Not as big a deal as is being made out.

    The rules provide for Oracle.. er… I mean, the GGYC… to build two sets of hulls and cross-beams but that the second may only be launched after 30 days prior to the America’s Cup Qualifying round.

    And they have to come out of the same mold.

    The Competitor Forum may decide to jam the ACQ right up against the playoffs; severely restricting the amount of time Oracle, er, i mean, GGYC can sail their second boat.

    Not that it would mean much. Ora… sorry… the defender is not allowed to sail the two boats together until the end of the ACQ. Not exactly a lot of time for two-boat testing. A few weeks at best.

    They can only build two wing-sails; just like everybody else.

    They can only build six sets of dagger-boards, just like everybody else.

    Comparisons with Alinghi’s AC33 protocol are way off the mark. Alinghi had developed the class rule in secret and had refused to release it, giving them a huge advantage.

    Whenever I read the NZ Herald coverage of America’s Cup news, all I can hear is shrieking.

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