This story contains details of the latest races in the America’s Cup. If you don’t want to know the result, please look away now!
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Team New Zealand successfully retained the Auld Mug in a 7-3 series win over the Italian entry Luna Rossa making it their fourth Cup victory in the event’s 170-year history. Even before the victorious crew had touched the dock, rumours that Team New Zealand had accepted a challenge from the Royal Yacht Squadron – the home club of Ineos – were rife.
Despite the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s General manager, Hayden Porter, confirming that a challenge had been accepted whilst the team were out on the water, neither him nor Ineos would confirm who the challenge was from.
What happens next?
As soon as a challenge has been placed, the process to going public is fast.”It’s one of those traditions that is pretty special about the Cup; that they must receive a challenge and it must be accepted,” Porter said.
“There’s a protocol that goes with it; it gets handed over literally at the second it happens. In the old days, things used to get thrown on to boats. Here at the club, we have some protocols that go around it where our email servers get shut down, our phones get shut down, the doors get locked and things like that so it can’t be challenged that another challenge has been received. We’ve done it a few times, so we know the drill.”
After confirming a challenge had been accepted, Porter said “There are a lot of details to come. Discussions will evolve over the next few days, weeks and months.”
What will the racing look like?
Reliable sources on the ground in Auckland have told us here at Kraken that there is a strong desire to take the challenge back to the Cup’s 1851 roots with a one-off race around the Isle of Wight 2022. This one-off grudge match would see just two teams, Team New Zealand and Ineos, fly around the 50nm course in an event like no other, sponsored by Sir James Ratcliffe and Ineos.
If the rumours are true, the one thing that you can be sure of is that we will be there!
Listen to Haydn Porter on NewstalkZB talking about the challenge
Last updated: 17th March 2021