The Defender Emirates Team New Zealand has hinted that the 36th America’s Cup will be raced on monohulls. Following their victory in Bermuda back in June, the Kiwi team is entitled to choose the date, location and format of the next showdown and this decision sees the America’s Cup return to a type of boat last used in 2010.
Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton told local publication Stuff.co.nz: "The protocol is basically done. We are tweaking a few things, but they are only details around dates and things like that. We are still committed to [delivering] a protocol late in September."
The official confirmation of a return to monohulls has yet to be made but the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has put out an announcement in conjunction with Circolo della Vela Sicilia, the Challenger of Record, who were quick to signal their intention to reform the Luna Rossa Challenge team for the next America’s Cup.
“The proposed dates for the event will be further detailed in the protocol, but the Defender and the Challenger of Record are considering the possibility of the 36th America's Cup Match and the preceding Challenger Selection Series being conducted in Auckland in early 2021 during the New Zealand summer,” the announcement explained.
What’s more, the protocol is due to stipulate that all competing teams must build their raceboat in their home country and abide by a minimum home nationality quota. It remains to be seen how this will affect the affordability of the Cup or how many more challengers come forward to race for sport’s oldest prize.
The news comes just one month after Emirates Team New Zealand revealed that they may not be able to engrave their name on the Auld Mug as there is no space left on the base.