NZ government will honour Emirates Team deal

Gritting its teeth and clearly unhappy, the New Zealand government has confirmed it will honour a pledge by the previous administration to support Emirates Team New Zealand’s challenge for the 2013 America’s Cup.

The taxpayers will stump up NZ$36m (about £17.5m) at a time when they are facing both public debt and coping with the consequences of the earthquakes, still continuing, which caused death and destruction in Christchurch. The country is also more focussed on this year’s Rugby World Cup.

John Key’s government had taken legal advice to see whether it could break the contract, which was drawn up after the team reached the finals of the 2007 Cup in Valencia and comes out of not the sports budget but the ministry of economic development.

The country hopes that winning back the cup it first won in San Diego in 1995 and successfully defended in Auckland in 2000 would provide another significant boost to both the regional and national economy. ETNZ, not short of good legal advice, had drawn up a watertight agreement but had delayed the announcement sufficiently to separate it from the Christchurch disaster.

Talks at ministerial level in France have so far failed to elicit government support for either of the two challenger groups announced in that country and it would have been inconceivable that the British government would have given money to the British challenge abandoned by Sir Keith Mills last autumn. The Team Origin bid was very sceptical it could even attract funding from the National Lottery, which supports sailing in the form of the Olympic squad.

The 14 challengers, some yet to be named, have until the end of the month to stump up the first payments of their performance bonds and confirm, with a deposit, orders for the AC45 catamarans which will be used for the first set of regattas.

For the Volvo round the world race, Rob Greenhalgh will join skipper Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi team, having been on ABN Amro and Puma in the two previous races. And top French sailor Thomas Coville will exchange his Sodebo shirt for a set of Groupama oilskins for the Volvo.

In Charleston, Chris Stanmore-Major coped with storm conditions 15 miles – he had to turn the boat round and run in front of the weather at one stage - from the finish of the Velux 5 Oceans leg from Punta de Este, Uruguay, taking third place.

And in Barcelona Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss, sailed by Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak after Thomson was first hit by appendicitis and then stayed with his partner when their first child was born with a heart problem, finished the Barcelona two-handed round the world race in seventh place.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz