MILAN — The next America’s Cup may take place in Auckland in early 2021.
On Wednesday, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Circolo della Vela Sicilia as the Challenger of Record, together with their respective representative teams Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge, said that the protocol establishing the parameters for the 36th America’s Cup will be released in September. Although the proposed dates for the event will be detailed then, the teams are considering the possibility that the prestigious sailing match, as well as the preceding Challenger Selection Series, could take place in Auckland during the New Zealand summer four years from now.
“In recognition of the fundamental condition of the Deed of Gift that the cup be preserved as a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries, the Protocol will contain a ‘constructed in country’ requirement for competing yachts and a nationality requirement for competing crew members,” stated Luna Rossa Challenge.
This is a return to sea for Luna Rossa and its sixth challenge, but fifth race, as the team in 2015 withdrew from the competition in disagreement over the overturning of rules unanimously adopted throughout the previous year by the Oracle Team owned by Larry Ellison. The nationality requirement represents a significant tightening from the rules for the last series, which was won by New Zealand. That country’s citizens were members of both the U.S. and the New Zealand teams, leading to criticism that the America’s Cup had degenerated into an event where the biggest checkbook won.
The Luna Rossa team was established in 1997 by Bertelli, an avid sailor, with the original name of “Prada Challenge for the America’s Cup 2000.” The team won the Louis Vuitton Cup — the challengers’ selection series — in 2000, with a record of 38 victories over 49 races. It also competed in 2003 and in 2007, when it reached the Louis Vuitton Cup final.
Luna Rossa is now 100 percent privately owned by Bertelli.