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16 Dec 2017 1:19
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Sailing

    New York Yacht Club to challenge for Cup

    The most famous sailing body in America's Cup history is returning to the event after the New York Yacht Club announced a challenge for the Auld Mug in 2021.

    The New York Yacht Club will end its hiatus from the America's Cup and mount a challenge in Auckland in 2021.

    The club that held the Auld Mug from 1851 until 1983 is the first syndicate to announce its intent to challenge.

    New York's return after 14 years' absence has been welcomed by holders Team NZ, who want to restore some of the history to the world's oldest sailing regatta in its 36th edition.

    Last week Team NZ announced protocol for the event, which will return to 75-foot (23m) monohull boats and feature nationality element to the sailing crews.

    Challenges aren't officially filed until January 1 but the NYYC said it was committed to mounting its first challenge since backing the failed Team Dennis Conner campaign, also in Auckland, in 2002-03.

    The challenging syndicate has brought together two of the most successful American yachtsmen of the last decade, John J. Fauth and Doug DeVos, who both run elite sailing programmes.

    On the water, they have succeeded in numerous distance and buoy races at venues in North America, Europe and the Caribbean.

    Fauth, a three-time world champion in the Maxi72 class, has headed the successful Bella Mente sailing programme while successful businessman Devos has been at the helm of Quantum Racing.

    "The America's Cup is sailing's most complex challenge," Fauth said.

    "Winning takes a complete team effort, and I've always found tremendous satisfaction in bringing together a group of individuals in pursuit of one goal.

    "With a return to a more traditional style of yacht and the windward-leeward courses with which the vast majority of racing sailors are intimately familiar, the 36th America's Cup represents a unique opportunity to re-engage the grass roots of the sport and re-energise American sailing."

    They will race as Bella Mente Quantum Racing, with America's Cup veteran Terry Hutchinson their chief executive and skipper. Hutchinson is a former Team NZ tactician.

    The NYYC's 132-year reign as Cup holders is regarded as the longest winning streak in sport.

    After Australia II beat Conner's Liberty at Newport, Rhode Island 34 years ago, the NYYC mounted a handful of unsuccessful challenges before skipping the last four regattas.

    Club commodore Philip A. Lotz said the time is right to return.

    "The America's Cup has always remained close to the heart of the New York Yacht Club, even in the years where we didn't participate as a challenger or defender," he said.

    "For this cycle, a lot of elements have come together in the correct way for the Club to enter another challenge."

    Team NZ chief executive Grant Dalton had no doubt NYCC's challenge would be "formidable".


    © 2017 NZN, NZCity

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