America’s Cup: New York Yacht Club withdraw, fire salvo at Team NZ

The New York Yacht Club has decided against contesting the next America’s Cup, frustrated at a lack of information, though it’s Stars + Stripes team has vowed to stay in the game.

The famous club confirmed to Stuff on Wednesday they were “pausing our pursuit of the 37th America’s Cup”.

In announcing their withdrawal, they fired a broadside at defenders Team New Zealand over delays around the next regatta which has still not got a confirmed venue.

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“There are few private clubs that enjoy a stronger bond with a single competition than the New York Yacht Club does with the America’s Cup, which we founded and held for 132 years. However, we ultimately have a responsibility to act in the best interests of our membership. Given the continued uncertainty regarding the 37th America’s Cup, we have decided to pause our challenge for this edition,” New York Yacht Club Commodore Christopher J Culver said.

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“For more than six months, the New York Yacht Club along with other potential challengers have waited for clarity regarding the venue, timing and rules for the 37th America’s Cup. Time is never on the side of new teams in this great contest, but at some point, we must recognise when there simply isn’t enough of it left to build a competitive challenge.

“We will continue to advocate for what we believe to be essential changes to the structure of the America’s Cup. This evolution will retain the competition’s unmatched history and appeal while enabling it to compete on today’s increasingly competitive modern sports landscape. Our passion for this competition remains as strong as ever.”

Christopher J Culver, the commodore of the New York Yacht Club, has decided time is run out to present a worthy challenge for the next America’s Cup.

COR 36 | Studio Borlenghi

Christopher J Culver, the commodore of the New York Yacht Club, has decided time is run out to present a worthy challenge for the next America’s Cup.

Defenders Team New Zealand said they weren’t surprised by the development and aired some thoughts over the famous club’s relationships with their sailing teams.

“While it is disappointing to hear of the apparent loss of the NYYC from AC37, we are not entirely surprised as we started to see them struggling with the reality of being a competing yacht club as early as December last year,” Team New Zealand said in a strong reactionary statement.

“Commodore Culver’s Corinthian approach to the modern America’s Cup was obviously at odds with their former representative team American Magic, who they alienated earlier this year.

“The reality of the modern-day America’s Cup competition is that every yacht club needs its representative team to be responsible for the operation and decisions of its challenge or defence whilst protecting the club and its members from any financial liability.

“Both American Magic (the team) and Stars + Stripes remain involved anticipating the AC37 protocol next month.

“The outcome of the NYYC approach is in complete contrast to that of RNZYS and Team New Zealand who have had an enduring relationship for 27 years, winning the America’s Cup four times where the yacht club plays a valuable supporting role to the team that carries the financial and competitive responsibilities.”

American Magic’s dramatic capsize effctively ended their last America’s Cup campaign.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

American Magic’s dramatic capsize effctively ended their last America’s Cup campaign.

It ends a strange few months for the Cup’s most famous club after their ill-fated return to action in Auckland where their entry, American Magic, was badly damaged in a dramatic capsize, and they were the first team eliminated.

In July the club announced they were moving forward with the Stars + Stripes syndicate that had failed to find the funds to compete at the last Cup in Auckland despite purchasing boat plans and getting part way through a build of their first AC75.

American Magic and Stars + Stripes will still pursue the next America’s Cup, but need to find new club allegiances.

Mike Buckley, co-CEO of Stars + Stripes confirmed their intention to stay involved.

“We are disappointed that NYYC reversed is decision to participate in the next cycle of the America’s Cup. However, nothing has changed for Stars + Stripes USA. We remain even more committed to competing in AC37 in order to change the sport of sailing in the United States,” he said in a statement.

“We will continue building a diverse team that reflects our country and represents modern American values.

“We will expand our ecosystem of partners and move forward with expanding the AI technology that we initiated for AC36 that will be required to win in 2024.

The move by New York comes after they issued their own challenge and protocol – deemed “presumptuous” by defenders Team New Zealand – in May, outlining changes they would like to see made to the Cup scene.

New York, who famously held the America’s Cup for 132 years, were encouraged back into the game in Auckland by Team New Zealand, ending a lengthy absence.

The latest New York move comes as plans to announce the venue for the next regatta have stalled. There has been suggestions of unease in the American club over the possibility of the Cup being held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Ireland and Spain are other options being further investigated by team New Zealand who are seeking a major hosting fee to help fund their campaign.

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