So it begins

Readers of this blog know that I am a huge America’s Cup fan.  Not only that but I have adopted Team Emirates New Zealand as my favourite team.  So yeah, this news excites me.

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has lodged a challenge for the 35th America’s Cup.

Out-going Commodore Steve Burrett announced that the challenge would go ahead at the Squadron’s annual meeting last night.

The Squadron will be represented by Emirates Team New Zealand. Challenges must received by the defending yacht club, the Golden Gate Yacht Club, by midnight Friday, San Francisco time.

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has been involved with all but one New Zealand America’s Cup campaign since 1987, winning at San Diego in 1995 and successfully defending at Auckland in 2000.

Mr Burrett said: “New Zealand has a distinguished history in the America’s Cup and we expect Emirates Team New Zealand will once again make New Zealand proud, just as it has done many times in the past.

“We wish the team well and we look forward to contributing to the success of the 35th America’s Cup.”

Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton says the team is pleased to be able to be in a position to challenge with the confidence of being able to represent the country well.  

“This is the official start of a long, hard journey. We do not under-estimate the challenges ahead.

Now the field of play goes back to the lawyers who will fight in New York courts over the boat design.  In my mind it is the world’s purest expression of sport; unathletic billionaires and their lawyers fighting over specs that well paid engineers will build and someone else will sail.  It gets no better than that.

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