In an announcement that surprised no one, Emirates Team New Zealand promised to be fair in setting up the rules for the next running of the America’s Cup Regatta in 2019.
The decision of having the America’s Cup run every two years, rather than on some random schedule, was made by Team Oracle, with the cooperation of four Cup challengers in January.
For the next race, Kiwi chief executive Grant Dalton pledged that New Zealand will, “Do the right thing,” in setting up the rules for the next regatta to decide possession of the Auld Mug.
You read correctly. The victor gets to formulate the rules for its defense of the title. Imagine the hue and cry, the gnashing of teeth, the rending of garments, if the Western Bulldogs got to choose the venue for this year’s Grand Final. Taken a step further, would they get to choose the side against whom they would play?
Whismisical musings aside, the Kiwis are perhaps the most fair-minded of any nation when it comes to fair play, other than when it comes to a certain national rugby team.
Going further, Dalton said, “We will put into place rules and an organisation of our own team New Zealand that if we’re good enough we’ll hold onto it and if we’re not we won’t. We will not try and impose our will on it to make sure we can hold it at any cost.”
The agreement in January, entered into by the major sailing powers of the world, is supposed to induce a sense of stability in the form of making costs for competitors lower and more predictable.
That is good news to New Zealand, which won the 2017 trophy despite a shoestring budget, unlike Team Oracle funder Larry Ellison, who probably could have outspent the Kiwis with the change lodged between his sofa cushions.