Councillors Wayne Walker and John Watson at Hobsonville ferry terminal.
Auckland Transport has announced more good news for north and west Auckland ferry users.
From Monday 25 February, Hobsonville and Beach Haven ferry users will get four additional trips each weekday to choose from. This comes on the back of the recent commencement of weekend ferry services.
Check the new weekday timetable here [PDF] for new sailing times, including some tweaks to the existing schedule.
Connecting bus services for Hobsonville Point and Beach Haven have not been changed yet, but will be reviewed later in the year.
Gulf Harbour ferry users will also benefit from extra evening services during the week. Click here to see the new additional sailings.
Please note, no additional connecting bus services have yet been announced to support these extra services.
Albany Councillor John Watson says he’s pleased to see the extra services added.
“The more people are using these ferry services, the fewer vehicles are congesting our already busy motorway network at peak times,” he says.
Councillor Richard Hills at Beach Haven ferry terminal.
North Shore Councillor Richard Hills agrees and says the addition of services is another exciting development for Beach Haven residents.
“After being part of the team that successfully advocated for the build of the new Beach Haven ferry terminal in 2013, this announcement is particularly sweet,” says Hills.
“We have also secured regular off-peak services by 2021 as part of the Regional Public Transport Plan.
Upper Harbour, Kaipātiki and Hibiscus and Bays local boards also all advocated in support of increased weekday ferry services.
Source: Auckland Council
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Gulf Harbour residents have been commenting on earthworks and truck movements near the Fairway Bay sales office in Pinecrest Drive.
Fairway Bay’s development consultant, Michael Webb-Speight, says there have been a large number of enquiries as to whether work on the apartments overlooking the Marina has started.
He says resource consent for the apartments has been obtained, but construction is part of a future development plan.
The earthworks in question are for a project whereby the developer will provide excess clean fill to be used to improve the NZ Defence Force’s Army Bay rifle range (HM September 2017).
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Champagne corks popped and tears flowed at the announcement a north Auckland roading project 40 years in the making would finally get funding.
Penlink, a seven kilometre connection bridging the Weiti River to connect the Whangaparāoa Peninsula to State Highway 1, was first mooted by United States forces in New Zealand during World War II to enhance the supply line to its operations at what is now Shakespear Regional Park.
This was denied and then in the 1980s the former Rodney District Council began planning the building of the road. Despite triennial promises from vote seeking political parties, funding never came for the project.
For those in north Auckland, Penlink became a swear word pulled out when talking of empty promises, poor future transport planning and rising congestion.
In 2010 Auckland Transport inherited the project. Since, it has quietly worked in the background to put finishing touches on plans, gain consents and purchase all the necessary land.
Janet Fitzgerald, left, who has spent 15 years advocating for Penlink celebrated the government’s announcement with bubbly.
All that was needed was funding so an elected official could put a ceremonial spade in the ground and set the project in motion.
Longtime Penlink advocate Janet Fitzgerald cried on Thursday morning when Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced $200 million would be allocated to the road to build it within 10 years under a funding package to ease congestion on Auckland’s roads.
Fitzgerald said she wanted to give Twyford a hug when she heard the money was coming for a two lane toll road, future proofed for four lanes, from Whangaparāoa Rd in Stanmore Bay, to SH1 at Wilks Rd in Dairy Flat, to bypass a constrained Silverdale interchange and allow for future growth.
It’s been talked about for decades, but Penlink will finally be delivered to the Hibiscus Coast within 10 years.
As she listened to Twyford’s announcement “tears were rolling down my face and phone was going bing, bing, bing”.
“My phone has just gone mad because people know I am just so passionate about Penlink.
“I’m even crying now – I am so excited. We have already cracked a bottle of champagne.”
Penlink Now members John Davies, left, and Stephen Lyttelton have been pushing for Penlink for more than a decade.
Hibiscus and Bays Local Board chairman said the news of funding was ‘excellent’, but was more excited about its timing, and the fact the road would be future-proofed for four lanes.
“In the past Penlink has been has become a little bit of a political football in the parties have announced it in the last year of their term in office, so it has been very difficult to get off the ground.”
But the announcement in the first year of the latest government’s term made it more concrete, Parfitt said.
Dancing with the Stars contestant and ex-bachelor Zac Franich will be stoked with the announcement, having supported the project during the election.
The local board and Penlink Now both preferred a four lane road, but news of future proofing was welcomed, she said.
At the board’s April business meeting, Auckland Transport, who identified the need for a bigger road due to growth in 2013 and bumped the project up to four lanes, told the board Penlink would only be two lanes with no future proofing.
Parfitt said the shape and form of the final road would be determined by the perspective partners of the Public Private Partnership who built the road.
She and Fitzgerald both acknowledged all the other people who helped advocate to get Penlink built, such as NZ First Cabinet Minister Tracey Martin, Labour list MP Marja Lubeck and the Auckland Chamber of Commerce which joined the fight for Penlink in 2016 after concerned transport planners approached it, and congestion began to affect north Auckland businesses.
Chamber head Michael Barnett welcomed the announcement.
“Penlink … should have been done years ago, but to have it ticked off now, in my mind, is a really good thing.”
Labour’s Marja Lubeck said the funding for Penlink would go a long way to addressing the congestion issues faced by businesses and residents in the Rodney electorate.
“The benefit-cost ratio has shown us that two lane highway announced today is the most sensible option but the highway will be future proofed to allow for the expansion to four lanes as Rodney continues to grow.”
Lubeck said the project was just one part of part of what will be New Zealand’s largest ever civil construction programme.
Albany Ward councillor John Watson said the funding commitment was a massive win for the Hibiscus Coast and it, and other planned public transport improvements represented the most significant transport initiatives to occur in the area since the Northern Motorway extension.
“When Penlink and the public yransport projects are added to the $700 million Northern Corridor Improvements project that is happening right now, this area’s transport needs are going to be met for decades to come.
“This is a stunning combination for the Hibiscus Coast that will simultaneously deal to congestion and look to the future of public transport provision in a fast changing city.”
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The road, with a bridge over the Weiti River, was first mooted by US forces who offered to build it in the 1940s, and has been on Auckland transport planning as a possible Public Private Partnership since 1981.
Whether Penlink makes the cut on the new Labour Government’s list of transport priorities will become clear by the end of April.
Under the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP), the Government and Auckland Council’s agreed strategic approach for the development of Auckland’s transport system, Penlink will proceed in the next decade to address accelerated growth and the congestion that comes with it.
But the Labour Government’s announcement on it’s land transport priorities for the next decade shows it has asked for ATAP to be updated to take into consideration its new outlook for an emphasis on road safety and public transport.
ATAP will then set the direction for Auckland, supported by the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport, and a ministerial expectation from Transport Minister Phil Twyford that the NZ Transport Agency take a lead role alongside Auckland Transport to advance ATAP.
A joint government and Auckland Council ATAP announcement is expected mid-April, but a specific date hasn’t been set, Auckland Council said.
The 7km alternative access road to the north Auckland’s Whangaparāoa Peninsula is crucial for the economy of the area, Marja Lubeck says.
In the lead up to the announcement Labour list MP Marja Lubeck has been making noise in the House of Representatives and advocating to the Transport Minister for the alternative route on to Auckland’s Whangaparāoa Peninsula.
With the Government preference on influencing travel demand to trains, walking and cycling not an option, Lubeck hopes the project can tick the boxes for unlocking congestion and alleviating pressure on growth and business.
The growth that saw Penlink brought forward into the first decade of ATAP was still occurring and businesses and residents were already struggling with the congestion, she said.
She has told Twyford that once finished, current residential and business expansion at Millwater, Milldale, Dairy Flat and Wainui will see 147,000 people with sole access to State Highway 1 through an already struggling Silverdale interchange.
The safety issue of only one entry and exit on to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, leaving people trapped every time there was a serious car accident, was also often overlooked, Lubeck said.
The effect on business had also seen the Auckland Chamber of Commerce join the fight for Penlink.
The Chamber already had prospective investors ready to cash in on the project’s high benefit to cost ratio and start building the fully consented road as a Public Private Partnership, Lubeck said.
“One with $400m who also wants to help fund the Silverdale business area transport improvement,” Lubeck said.
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Auckland will host the America’s Cup in 2021. Photo credit: Getty
Auckland has been confirmed as the host of the next America’s Cup.
Mayor Phil Goff announced the details of an in-principle agreement between Auckland Council, the Government and Emirates Team New Zealand on Monday.
He confirmed Wynyard Point has been agreed as the location of the America’s Cup bases in 2021. The council will vote on Thursday to finalise the decision.
“We have agreed a base configuration that is less expensive than previous options and requires a much smaller extension into the harbour,” Mayor Goff said in a statement.
He said the land will ultimately become a “linear park” and public space to be used after the event.
“The sheltered water area between Wynyard and Halsey Street wharves will also be a valuable asset for other maritime sports events such as dragon boats and Waka Ama.”
Construction of the bases will total $212 million – $98.5 million of which will be contributed by the council. The Team New Zealand hosting fee is included in the Government’s contribution.
“Under the agreement, the Viaduct Events Centre will now be home to Emirates Team New Zealand without extending Halsey St wharf into the harbour,” Mayor Goff said.
“One base will be on a Hobson Wharf extension and up to five bases on the eastern side of Wynyard Point.”
If the council approves the resource consent on Thursday, it will be lodged by April 6.
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While the Gulf Harbour ferry service looks good on paper, commuters say the figures don’t show the whole story.
A monthly summary provided by Auckland Transport reveals that just one per cent of voyages between Gulf Harbour and Britomart exceeded capacity between February 12 and March 9.
Of the 360 voyages made during this four week period, a further five per cent were cancelled – one for a technical fault and 17 for bad weather.
All cancelled voyages were replaced by a bus service.
Despite what the numbers show, Gulf Harbour commuter Shane Davis says some voyages are “absolutely packed” with people “shoehorned” in – even if they’re not at official capacity.
“What those numbers probably don’t tell you is how full the ferry is – even though people don’t spill over [into a later service]. You sometimes have people sitting in the stairwells,” he said.
With three ferries operating daily, Davis says some boats are more popular than others.
“Everybody lets out a groan if they’ve got to catch the D3 – it’s usually chocka,” he said.
The 149 seater D3 also leaks, Davis says, with water coming through the windows and onto the seats in rain or stormy seas.
“You’ve definitely got to be a bit of a seasoned sailor to be on that thing,” he said.
“You’ve got a lot or people catching that ferry, and a huge number of uni students and professional people.
“The vast majority are trying to get work done on the commute so comfort is a bit of a factor.”
Davis says commuters enjoy the service and don’t begrudge AT for weather cancellations, but would like to see an extra service in place in the afternoon.
“If they could fix those afternoon sailings by putting a bigger ferry on or having an extra service, they’d pretty much fix the problem,” he said.
Auckland Transport is aware of the afternoon rush, James Ireland says.
“AT is aware that the 4.45pm service is especially busy, and we are working closely with the operator to resolve this,” he said.
Gulf Harbour resident and daily ferry commuter Karthiga Kanesha has created a petition and survey about the service, and intends to present her findings to Auckland Transport.
Source: Rodney Times
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Daily commuter Karthiga Kanesha believes the Gulf Harbour ferry service is in desperate need of an upgrade – and she’s not alone.
The Gulf Harbour resident has experienced first hand the stresses caused by last minute cancellations, crowded vessels and poor communication, and has decided to take action.
Hoping to create a more attractive and viable transport option for Hibiscus Coast commuters, Kanesha has created a petition and qualitative survey to submit to Auckland Transport.
While the petition and survey are ongoing, she hopes they will work together to show how the service affects the lives of those using it.
The survey – hosted on change.org – has close to 1000 signatures of residents who want to see the service improved.
The main issues identified include frequent ferry cancellations, unreliable communication regarding voyages, and the need for more or larger ferries.
“A lot of us don’t complain about it but I think we’re over it – it should be better,” Kanesha said.
Kanesha is happy to pay $320 a month to catch the ferry, but says the price can sting when ferries are cancelled and alternative transport needs to be arranged last minute at her expense.
“We’re not complaining about the cost of the ferry, but when we get a number of delays, that makes the cost we pay insufficient,” she said.
Gulf Harbour resident Andrew Johnstone has caught the ferry for nine years as it’s “the quickest way to get to town”.
He enjoys the service, but finds last minute voyage cancellations frustrating, and says despite pay fare increases, nothing has changed.
“The fact that the bus [home] leaves from a different place than the ferry does – it doesn’t give you a lot of time to react,” he said.
Auckland Transport media advisor James Ireland says AT will definitely look at the points raised by the petition.
“We always welcome ideas from the public, and we will give them consideration,” he said.
Figures provided by AT show that no ferries on the Gulf Harbour to Britomart schedule reached capacity in the week from February 26 to March 2.
Passenger loadings on the week’s busiest morning service – the 7am ferry to Britomart – were between 116 and 142 passengers on the 244 seat D6 ferry.
The busiest afternoon service leaving Britomart at 5.15pm saw between 72 and 151 passengers aboard the same vessel.
Ireland says AT is aware of the demand for increased ferry services and bigger vessels, but is unable to implement any increases at Gulf Harbour before July due to budgetary constraints.
“AT is currently involved in undertaking a tendering process for ferry routes and is also undertaking a wider review of ferry services within the Auckland region,” he said.
“All the proposed changes, are subject to funding and tender negotiations, so there is no guarantee at this point that these changes will occur.”
Last week saw the Hobsonville Point ferry service start operating a bigger vessel, increasing from 79 seats to 126.
Ireland says this will have a “flow on effect” and take some pressure off the Gulf Harbour service.
However, if Gulf Harbour commuters wish to take advantage of the Hobsonville Point service, they will face a morning commute of around 40km.
Google Maps indicates a perfect run between Gulf Harbour and Hobsonville Point Wharf will take 40 minutes, and in weekday morning traffic, anywhere up to one hour and 25 minutes.
The commute to Britomart is around 47km.
Ireland says Fullers and 360 Discovery will soon switch from the current text notification system in favour of the Fullers My Ferry app.
Source: Rodney Times
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Ten challengers – both tangible and potential – are being taken seriously by Emirates Team New Zealand on the eve of entries opening for the 2021 America’s Cup. But team boss Grant Dalton won’t be disappointed if not all “pony up.”
Although Auckland hosted 11 challengers in 2000, Dalton knows that realistically there isn’t room on Auckland’s waterfront this time for more than eight teams, including the Cup defender.
Wynyard Basin – the $140 million site for bases that Auckland Council agreed on last week – has allocated eight spaces for teams to set up on the yet-to-be built extensions of Halsey, Hobson and Wynyard wharves.
“We can only create eight bases, including one for ourselves. You could say it’s a nice problem to have if there are more teams, but I actually don’t know where they’d go,” says Dalton, who’s already chosen the spot where his team will make their home.
“Seven challengers still pose quite a logistical issue for the city. Not only with the bases and the building of the infrastructure, but with accommodation. If there are around 100 people in each team, plus families – that’s 250 in a team. I think if we had seven, that would be just fine.
“I don’t think we will limit the number of teams who can come. But quite frankly, I don’t know where the others would go.”
It was made clear at last week’s council meeting that should the next America’s Cup attract more than seven overseas syndicates, the latecomers will have to find their own sites to launch their boats and run campaigns from.
Entries for the regatta open on January 1, closing six months later. Dalton doesn’t expect a rush of entries next month: “Some teams don’t enter early, because they think it might give them more leverage.”
But he expects an entry from the New York Yacht Club, and Sir Ben Ainslie’s British BAR syndicate, to be the first confirmed on the challenger list, after the Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa of Italy, who’ve already entered.
Team NZ have selected the eighth base in the Wynyard Basin as their spot.
“There are another six or seven teams we’ve heard from that we are treating seriously. Some are from outside the normal sphere that we know, one in particular,” he says without naming names. “We treat everyone seriously because you don’t know whether they are or not, and you don’t want to miss one because of it. Out of those seven, we might get five. Because in the end, they’ve got to pony up.”
Challenging syndicates must pay US$1million ($1.42m) when their challenge is accepted, and the same amount again to be paid no later than November 30 next year. Late entries, accepted up until the end of the year, will have to pay a US$1million penalty on top.
“There will also be the odd lurkers, those teams who haven’t said much at all yet. In the past, that would have been us; we wouldn’t have said much at this point either,” Dalton says.
A second Italian syndicate, the Adelasia of Torres team, which race monohulls in the Mediterranean, have publicly announced their hope of challenging. Their frontman Renato Azara – a Sardinian entrepreneur who runs a maritime agency servicing superyachts – is now on the hunt for financial backers.
Team France skipper Franck Cammas has said his team is “working hard” to contest the Cup again in Auckland, and there are encouraging noises coming out of Australia, who haven’t challenged since 2000.
The order in which teams enter for the challenger selection series will carry some weight when it comes to base allocations.
Team NZ have already chosen their spot in the Wynyard Basin site – in spite of the Government still looking into an alternative site. The Cup defenders have selected the eighth base on the Wynyard Basin map – out on their own on an extension of Hobson Wharf.
“It will be like an extension of Voyager, the Maritime Museum,” says Dalton. “We’ll also incorporate a public area with an innovation centre, and find a way to display the cat.” Aotearoa New Zealand, the victorious AC50 catamaran, is currently broken down and stored in pieces amidst some of the 60 shipping containers that returned from Bermuda.
Luna Rossa will have second dibs on a base site.
The spot is an extension of Hobson Wharf (pictured). File photo: Getty Images
Of course, it’s still not set in concrete that the next America’s Cup will be sailed in Auckland. The base infrastructure must be guaranteed to be in place by August 30 next year before the host city agreement is signed. Italy is still on stand-by, although Dalton insists that’s not what the team wants.
Accused of holding the country to ransom over an event fee, Dalton admits he made a mistake in not clarifying straight up what the fee was for.
“The mistake we made was not defining it at the start, and the story leapt away,” he says. “The fee was always what it is now defined as: part of the cost to run the event. If you want free-to-air TV, free access to the public, an opening ceremony, security and big screens – even some toilets, and volunteers. They’re all part of the myriad costs to run the America’s Cup.
“We have to build 26 chase boats that will deal with safety, crowd control, umpiring, the race committee, and media. Santa certainly isn’t bringing them. But building them helps the New Zealand marine industry.”
As the man currently at the head of the America’s Cup event team, Dalton wants to transform North Head into a grand “viewing platform” above the racecourse. “But it’s going to cost to put all the bleachers up. You’ll need full PA systems, a big screen. It just goes on and on,” he says.
As does the bases debate. The Government is continuing to analyse its preferred “Wynyard Point” base site – on the old “Tank Farm” and Site 18, currently used for superyacht repairs – while Auckland Council forges ahead with plans to lodge a resource consent application for Wynyard Basin by January 15.
Dalton says there is now little Team NZ can do. “It’s going through its process. There’s really not a lot that we can influence, or try to influence, at this point. It’s just running its course, and we have to wait and see what happens,” he says.
“But we back the council’s decision and their resource consent going in on January 15. Time is of the essence.”
Source: Scuttlebutt Sailing News
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The fully foiling 75-foot concept for the AC75.
An exciting new era in America’s Cup racing has been unveiled today as the concept for the AC75, the class of boat to be sailed in the 36th America’s Cup is released illustrating a bold and modern vision for high performance fully foiling monohull racing yachts.
The Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa design teams have spent the last four months evaluating a wide range of monohull concepts. Their goals have been to design a class that will be challenging and demanding to sail, rewarding the top level of skill for the crews; this concept could become the future of racing and even cruising monohulls beyond the America’s Cup.
The AC75 combines extremely high-performance sailing and great match racing with the safety of a boat that can right itself in the event of a capsize. The ground-breaking concept is achieved through the use of twin canting T-foils, ballasted to provide righting-moment when sailing, and roll stability at low speed.
The normal sailing mode sees the leeward foil lowered to provide lift and enable foiling, with the windward foil raised out of the water to maximise the lever-arm of the ballast and reduce drag. In pre-starts and through manoeuvres, both foils can be lowered to provide extra lift and roll control, also useful in rougher sea conditions and providing a wider window for racing.
Although racing performance has been the cornerstone of the design, consideration has had to be focused on the more practical aspects of the boat in the shed and at the dock, where both foils are canted right under the hull in order to provide natural roll stability and to allow the yacht to fit into a standard marina berth.
An underlying principle has been to provide affordable and sustainable technology ‘trickle down’ to other sailing classes and yachts. Whilst recent America’s Cup multihulls have benefitted from the power and control of rigid wing sails, there has been no transfer of this technology to the rigs of other sailing classes. In tandem with the innovations of the foiling system, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa are investigating a number of possible innovations for the AC75’s rig, with the requirement that the rig need not be craned in and out each day. This research work is ongoing as different concepts are evaluated, and details will be released with the AC75 Class Rule before March 31st, 2018.
The America’s Cup is a match race and creating a class that will provide challenging match racing has been the goal from the start. The AC75 will foil-tack and foil-gybe with only small manoeuvring losses, and given the speed and the ease at which the boats can turn the classic pre-starts of the America’s Cup are set to make an exciting comeback. Sail handling will also become important, with cross-overs to code zero sails in light wind conditions.
A huge number of ideas have been considered in the quest to define a class that will be extremely exciting to sail and provide great match racing, but the final decision was an easy one: the concept being announced was a clear winner, and both teams are eager to be introducing the AC75 for the 36th America’s Cup in 2021.
The AC75 class rule will be published by March 31st 2018.
The Windward foil will lift completely out of the water to provide righting moment to windward.
GRANT DALTON, CEO Emirates Team New Zealand:
“We are really proud to present the concept of the AC75 today. It has been a phenomenal effort by Dan and the guys together with Luna Rossa design team and there is a lot of excitement building around the boat in the development and getting to this point.”
“Our analysis of the performance of the foiling monohulls tells us that once the boat is up and foiling, the boat has the potential to be faster than an AC50 both upwind and downwind.”
“Auckland is in for a highly competitive summer of racing in 2020 / 2021.”
DAN BERNASCONI, Design Coordinator Emirates Team New Zealand:
“This design process has been new territory for the team, starting with a clean sheet to develop a class – and we’ve loved it. We wanted to see how far we could push the performance of monohull yachts to create a foiling boat that would be challenging to sail and thrilling to match race. We’re really excited about the concept and can’t wait to see it on the water..
We think we have achieved these goals – thanks also to the constructive co-operation of Luna Rossa design team – as well as the more practical detail to consider in terms of cost management and logistics of running the boats.”
PATRIZIO BERTELLI, Chairman of Luna Rossa Challenge:
“The choice of a monohull was a fundamental condition for us to be involved again in the America’s Cup. This is not a return to the past, but rather a step towards the future: the concept of the new AC 75 Class, which Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa design teams have developed together, will open new horizons for racing yachts, which, in the future, may also extend to cruising. It is a modern concept, at the high end of technology and challenging from a sporting point of view, which will deliver competitive and exciting match racing. I would like to thank both design teams for their commitment in achieving, in just four months, the goal which we had established when we challenged”.
MAX SIRENA. Team Director of Luna Rossa Challenge:
“As a sailor I am very pleased of the concept jointly developed by both design teams: the AC 75 will be an extremely high-performance yacht, challenging to sail, who will require an athletic and very talented crew. Every crew member will have a key role both in the manoeuvres and in racing the boat; the tight crossings and the circling in the pre-starts – which are part of the America’s Cup tradition – will be back on show, but at significant higher speeds. It is a new concept, and I am sure that its development will bring interesting surprises”.
Source: Sail-World NZ
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Emirates Team New Zealand was the only team integrated with the America’s Cup Village and Media Centre in Bermuda and received the most benefit. Bob Greiser/America’s Cup
On Monday morning, ahead of a workshop organised to update Auckland Councillors a graphic was published showing the sites under consideration for the hosting of the 36th America’s Cup – if indeed it is to be held in Auckland rather than Italy.
Developed from leaked information, it triggered a media conference at 4.00pm at the Auckland Council while the workshop was still in progress.
The purpose of the workshop was to front-foot the Auckland venue situation and get accurate information into the public purview rather than allowing the issue to percolate using misinformation pushed out by opposition groups.
To recap, the Auckland Council had a Long Term Planning meeting back on September 5, 2017. Running interference across the decade by decade planning was the inconvenient truth that Emirates Team New Zealand had won the America’s Cup two months earlier.
Despite having won the Challenger Final for the past two multi-challenger America’s Cups, there had been nothing factored into long-term planning to host an America’s Cup in Auckland. On their third attempt, Emirates Team New Zealand was able to win, and suddenly Auckland Council was propelled into the hot seat.
America’s Cup team base option Halsey Street extension – forming a team basin. The option favoured by Emirates Team NZ. The Media Centre would be housed in the Viaduct Events Centre in the lower left of the image. © Auckland Council http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz
Since 2000 there has been a progressive sell-off of the Viaduct Harbour created for the hosting of the 30th and 31st America’s Cups off the back of the Team New Zealand win in 1995 in San Diego.
Last to go was the team that was the catalyst for the rejuvenation of Auckland’s eyesore into a glittering jewel. While in the throes of what proved to be a successful America’s Cup campaign, Emirates Team New Zealand was shunted off to a disused oil company administration office at the eastern side of Westhaven Marina, and operated from there, along with a couple of tents for boats and kit.
Despite operating for 30 years, having won the America’s Cup three times, and being the major catalyst for a $1.5billion a year marine industry, Emirates Team New Zealand still has no permanent home in Auckland.
Fast forward to present day and on Monday Auckland Council’s CEO provided the required report on the options for Auckland.
Back on September 5, several Councillors (Darby, Casey, Collins, Hills, Hulse, and Wayne Walker) were against even having Halsey Street included in the options. 13 Councillors were in favour of having all options considered in the report, and four were absent for the vote.
The report on Monday afternoon showed that in various forms the extension to Halsey Street is the only workable option. There are three layouts which can be used.
Several Council members believe this vista view should not be blocked by the Halsey Street extension
The Integrated Model
A key message from previous America’s Cups is that the team bases, media centre, and America’s Cup Village must be integrated to provide a great America’s Cup experience for fans and visitors. The integrated approach also encourages people to get out of their cars, get to the regatta venue using public transport and ferries in particular, and then walk.
San Francisco used a model where the Media Centre was in one location with the America’s Cup Village close by and the team bases some way down the Embarcadero. It didn’t work as well as it could have, and when the media centre was taken over as a cruise ship terminal, the chances of staging a repeat event became remote. The parties agreed to part company very early in the piece.
Bermuda had a more integrated model, but the bases, on the ‘mainland’ side of the Royal Dockyard, had public access blocked along a walkway that could have taken fans past Land Rover BAR, Groupama Team France, Softbank Team Japan and Oracle Team USA. Instead, there was a locked gate after the first two bases. Emirates Team New Zealand got a lot of fan support being on Cross Island and alongside the America’s Cup Village. Artemis Racing had their main base up the end of the Great Sound, and a ‘day’ base alongside Emirates Team NZ – which didn’t work as their AC50 stayed in the water, with no haulout, before returning to the main base.
For fans the routine seems to be to get along to the base, about the time the boat is being rolled out. Watch the rigging and launching process and the dock-out show, then wander over to the big screens and watch the boats go through the preliminaries and racing itself, and then wait for the boats to return, take in the dock-in show, haul out, spot any damage and maybe get some selfies with the crew as they work the fans along the fence.
It’s a good day out – even if you do just one day of the regatta or every day. In Bermuda, the party started in the Village once the racing finished and continued until the last ferry. Auckland learned to have public parties in the last Rugby World Cup. With scattered facilities and bases it just doesn’t work, and people see what they want and then go home.
Although they didn’t have much option a great feature about Bermuda was the way ferries could pull up alongside the America’s Cup Village, drop off the fans and then repeat the exercise every 30 minutes or so at the end of the day’s racing.
Valencia got the closest to an integrated base, Village, Media Centre model with the ambitious revamp of the Darcena. However the 2007 America’s Cup lacked a home crowd, as the Match was between a Swiss team, and a New Zealand team with the regatta sailed in ‘neutral’ Spain. For sure the New Zealand fans were there in their droves – but they was only one side of the America’s Cup equation.
Auckland showed how it should be done with an integrated facility in the 2000 and 2003 Defences (result excepted). It can step up to a new level in 2021.
In Valencia the Darsena turned a shabby piece of waterfront into an integrated America’s Cup and marine sports facility pictured in may 2006. Unfortuately by shopping the venue there were no home fans for the Swiss defender. 2006/Photo:Carlo Borlenghi © ACM 2007/Carlo Borlenghi
‘A-Listers’ switch sides
Those opposed to any further harbour incursion might be buoyed by a win in the 2015 stand-off with the Ports of Auckland over plans to extend Bledisloe Wharf by 92 metres into the Waitemata Harbour, effectively narrowing the harbour for navigation.
That protest had the support of the sailing community. The extension was also opposed by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and many leading yachting ‘A-Listers’. Those same parties are unlikely to back opposition to the America’s Cup base proposals – quite the reverse in fact. We could well see a flotilla in support of the Halsey Street Extension.
Add in the thousands of America’s Cup fans who supported the team at the various homecoming parades, and support for this 2017 issue quite different from the Battle of Bledisloe in 2015. The America’s Cup winners have done well with their tours of New Zealand – maybe it is time for their fans to return the favour.
Unlike the Bledisloe extension proposal the construction of the Halsey Street – in whatever form, does not progress beyond the current wharf lines (and is inside the line of the two existing wharves on either side).
Currently the primary use of this piece of Auckland backwater is for charter boats and the like to navigate from the Viaduct Harbour to the inner Waitemata harbour via a dredged channel. This passage is largely unaffected by any of the proposals and will just require a couple more turns by vessels as they enter and exit
The reason why we are in this situation of having won the America’s Cup but with no facilities available is because of a lack of long-term planning in the area. The planners ignored the fact that ETNZ had made the last three multi-challenger Matches for the America’s Cup as the top Defender and was likely to win again at some stage. In fact the last time New Zealand did not participate in an multi-Challenger America’s Cup Match was 25 years ago – or the last six America’s Cup cycles.
Naiad was one of the New Zealand companies who benefitted from the 2013 America’s Cup – designing the chase boats used by Oracle Team USA. © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
They failed to plan for this eventuality and in fact continued to sell off areas of the Viaduct harbour to hotel and commercial office developers – to the point where there was nothing left.
It is all very well to be opposed to any harbour encroachment per se, but as we saw in the harbour encroachment to create the Viaduct Harbour in 1995-1998, the development does create a much better space for the enjoyment of the people of Auckland.
The wharf that is proposed over the patch of water off the end of Halsey Street will not destroy anyone’s enjoyment of the Waitemata harbour.
It is not used as a piece of recreational water – there is far too much water movement from the residual and backlash of ferry and other wakes for that to be a valid claim.
Bermuda did not have an integrated America’s Cup base, with most of the teams wedged in between ugly silo tanks. © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
As one who owns a mooring on the opposite side of the harbour at Stanley Bay, the ferry wakes are extremely hazardous, and no-one in their right mind could ever suggest that anchoring in this piece of water is a pleasurable experience. On the opposite side of the harbour off Halsey Street, the water movement would be even worse.
The sight line from Wynyard Point is directly across to the hotel and apartment complex on Princes Wharf. It is not a great vista, in fact, it is an eyesore. No-one can seriously suggest that extending a wharf partially across that monstrosity is going to diminish the views. Those were long gone when the Princes Wharf complex was approved.
If the long-term plan to turn Wynyard Point into a public park is achieved, then the Halsey Street extension will not impact significantly on the harbour views as it is inside the sight line and the navigation line.
Deed of Gift difficulties
The option of using Tauranga as an alternative venue could run into issues with the Deed of Gift for the America’s Cup as would the Italian venue option.
Most students of the Deed of Gift accept that there is an implied term in the 19th-century document which governs the conduct of the Match, that interpretation says the regatta must be sailed in the home waters of the current holder – in this case, the RNZYS. While that provision has not yet been tested in the New York Supreme Court. The argument has been set out yet again in ‘Exposed’ by Larry Keating and Alan Sefton, and someday it will be tested to stop an instance of shopping the Venue.
This is an opportunity for Auckland to wake up and take the opportunity that has been offered by the America’s Cup win on June 26th and spend the money to do this venue properly and make the best utilisation of available assets and create the best water sports facility in the world.
The overriding message from the cities that have hosted the last few America’s Cup and Olympic Sailing Regattas is that those who have done it well, have an excellent legacy asset. Those who have cut corners do less well. None have the payback that Auckland will receive from the 2021 America’s Cup and beyond.
We need a City of Sails not a City of Wails.
For America’s Cup commentator Peter Lester’s view on the options for Auckland click here
Qingdao provided an integrated sailing facility, along with wind generators for the 2008 Olympic Regatta © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
Part of the America’s Cup Village – San Francisco – the nearest team base was a mile down the Embarcadero © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
San Francisco – Fans crowd the waterfront with the America’s Cup Village behind. © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
Valencia Louis Vuitton Cup ACT’s 2 & 3 in 2004
Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/ACM
© ACM 2007/Carlo Borlenghi
Warming up in the America’s Cup Village, Bermuda, May 24, 2017 © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
ATEED’s Steve Armitage and Panuku Development’s Rod Marler front the media after the Council Workshop. © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
The media centre constructed for the 2013 America’s Cup became a cruise ship terminal after the regatta – same as is proposed for the Captain Cook Wharf legacy use in Auckland. © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
Emirates Team New Zealand with Oracle Team USA mid-way through the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco. © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
San Francisco – the fans spread along the waterfront – well away from the America’s Cup Village – team bases were in the other direction down the Embarcadero © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
Land Rover BAR and Groupama Team France were at the other end of the Bermuda “mainland” but the way past was blocked with a gate at the Softbank Team Japan end. © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
Emirates Team New Zealand was the only team integrated with the America’s Cup Village and Media Centre in Bermuda and received the most benefit. © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
Source: Sail-World NZ
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Team New Zealand parades the Auld Mug through Auckland’s viaduct on their winning return from Bermuda.
Major changes are planned for Auckland’s waterfront in the next few years as the city prepares to host the next America’s Cup.
The regatta won’t come cheap, with estimated costs ranging from $140m to $190m.
Councillors were presented with five venue options at a closed-door meeting on Monday, and Auckland Council’s governing body will be asked to approve a final choice next week.
OPTION 1: Extending Halsey Wharf, which is Team New Zealand’s preferred choice, but is also most expensive.
At this stage the front-runner is an extension to Halsey Wharf, near the recently developed Wynyard Quarter.
That’s the preferred option for Team New Zealand, as it ticks all the right boxes – but it’s also the most expensive.
OPTION 2: Kicking Ports of Auckland off Captain Cook Wharf, with boats launching from the western side.
Two other options involve the Captain Cook Wharf, however those appear to be dead in the water for several reasons.
The wharf is currently used by Ports of Auckland, which is already short on space and has made it clear it cannot vacate Captain Cook in time for the regatta.
Construction around the wharf would also have a “significant impact” on cruise ships, which would need to dock elsewhere.
OPTION 3: Kicking Ports of Auckland off Captain Cook Wharf, with boats launching from the eastern side.
In addition, Team New Zealand has raised concerns about choppy water around Captain Cook Wharf due to the frequent passing of ferries and other vessels.
Rod Marler from Panuku Development Auckland, the city’s regeneration agency, acknowledged Captain Cook no longer appeared viable but said the proposals “needed to be run to ground”.
Two other options also appear unlikely to get the go-ahead as they propose spreading the regatta venue across several waterfront sites.
OPTION 4: Dispersed central. Extensions to Halsey Wharf, Hobson Wharf, and Westhaven Marina.
Team New Zealand has made it clear it wants competing teams grouped together to create the “feeling of one village”.
“A single work platform and building in one area would certainly be preferred,” Marler said.
That leaves Halsey Wharf as the only realistic, viable option for Auckland if it wants to host the 2021 regatta.
OPTION 5: Dispersed clustered. Extensions to Halsey and Hobson Wharfs, with further boats at Wynyard Point.
“We dearly want to host this event in Auckland, and for Aucklanders and new Zealanders to get the benefit from it,” said Steve Armitage, general destination manager for Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).
Auckland is under pressure to get the process started.
The city has to confirm by August next year or hosting rights could be lost to Italy, although Team New Zealand is eager for its defence to be held in Auckland, as it was in 2000 and 2003
Team New Zealand up on foils in Auckland ahead of its successful America’s Cup challenge in Bermuda.
International teams would look to come to New Zealand as early as two years in advance to begin their training and buildup, meaning construction would need to be substantially completed by mid-2019.
Auckland Council will need to fast-track resource consents in order to meet that deadline.
Armitage said hosting the event would be a worthwhile investment.
“The projections show that from 2018 to 2021, the New Zealand economy stands to benefit to the tune of $555 to $977 million,” he said.
“If Auckland gets this right … There is an opportunity for New Zealand to be viewed as a global leader for maritime events.”
Bermuda, which hosted the 35th America’s Cup in June, recently released a report revealing the regatta was worth US$336 million (NZ$483m) to the island nation.
It appears Auckland Council and central government will split the costs of hosting the event, with additional funding from the private sector.
“Our intent is to try and minimise the exposure to the ratepayer and taxpayer,” Marler said.
However Armitage said those discussions took place when National was in power, and acknowledged the new government was yet to confirm whether it would stick to the agreement.
“We haven’t heard anything from ministers yet suggesting they’re unhappy with it,” he said.
Marler said there had been a lot of discussion among councillors when they were presented with the options on Monday afternoon.
“They appreciate the weight that is on their shoulders,” he said.
A final decision will be made by the governing body on November 23.
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America’s Cup-winning skipper John Bertrand has offered to help decorated sailor Tom Slingsby in his bid to get Australia contesting the famous event for the first time in more than 20 years.
America’s Cup winner John Bertrand wants to help Tom Slingsby’s bid to get a local boat up in 2021.
Bertrand guided Australia II to victory in 1983, breaking the United States’ monopoly of the competition.
Australia haven’t had a boat in the America’s Cup since 2000, although three of the 2017 entrants had Aussie skippers.
Slingsby, the 2010 world sailor of the year, 2012 Olympic men’s Laser gold medallist and two-time America’s Cup representative aboard Oracle Team USA, is keen to get an Australian boat up for the 2021 event in New Zealand.
“Tom Slingsby is endeavouring to pull it together. I’ve said to Tom, ‘I’ll help in any way I can’,” Bertrand told AAP on Friday.
“But it’s up to the people who are willing to underpin something like this to maybe 90 per cent of the total budget, so that’s always the challenge.
“The question is can the various people put the amount of money in that’s required to be competitive?
“There’s no question that the technology and the people are available.
“But as we say in the hard-nosed world of the America’s Cup, ‘no cash, no splash’, so you’ve got to have the bucks to be able to play this game.”
Bertrand and his Australia II crew on Friday were among the initial inductees into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame.
The intake also included Kay Cottee, the first female to sail unassisted, non-stop around the globe.
Paralympians Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch, who last year became the first Australian sailing team or crew to defend a gold medal at the Olympics or Paralympics, were also inducted.
Successful Olympians formed a significant part of the first group of inductees.
The contingent included Rolly Tasker, Australia’s first sailing world champion and first Olympic medallist.
Also inducted were Bill Northam, Peter O’Donnell and James Sargeant, who teamed up to win the nation’s first Olympic gold medal at the 1964 Games in Tokyo.
Jenny Armstrong and Belinda Stowell were the first Australian women to win an Olympic sailing gold medal.
Successful coach Victor Kovalenko was also inducted.
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British skipper Sir Ben Ainslie believes the new monohulls could be as exciting as the foiling catamarans used over the last two editions of the America’s Cup.
Ainslie has reiterated his intent to contest the next America’s Cup in Auckland 2021 and says he’s comfortable with the transition back to monohulls confirmed by holders Emirates Team New Zealand.
Ainslie, who won the Cup with Oracle on board the giant 72-foot catamarans in San Francisco in 2013 and then built his own British team for Bermuda 2017 where smaller 50-foot catamarans were used, reaffirmed he would have liked to have stayed in multihulls but has become increasingly at ease with the design U-turn since Team New Zealand released details of the protocol for 2021 in late September.
“We are comfortable with the transition. The key people in our sailing, design, engineering and support teams all have a great deal of relevant experience,” Ainslie told Boatinterantional.com.
“Although I feel that stability and staying with the multihull for the next America’s Cup would have been the best decision, this new boat could be just as exciting.”
More details of the 75-foot state-of-the art monohull will be released publicly on November 30 and the class rule will be confirmed by March 31.
But there is little doubt that Ainslie has been given a better picture of what’s in store as Team New Zealand courts challengers for their Auckland defence.
Ainslie, despite his tussles with Team New Zealand in Bermuda that included a dramatic round-robin clash ahead of their challengers semifinal won by the Kiwis, has strong links with the syndicate, having been part of their mix in the old monohull days.
He says his team won’t be greatly affected by team New Zealand’s decision to tighten the nationality laws.
“Land Rover BAR has always had a British identity, so a nationality rule suits us well with strong homegrown talent in our sailing team,” he said, though he predicted problems for some other potential syndicates.
“We are yet to see which teams will continue from the last America’s Cup, but a couple of them were very multi-national and they will have to reconfigure their sailing teams to meet the new residency requirements, which will be expensive.”
He felt the release of the class rule would determine how many teams would be involved in the Auckland regatta.
“The America’s Cup will always be a sporting and design race and there is a need for the best talent. The top end of sport is expensive,” he told Boatinternational.com.
Ainslie was thankful for having the ongoing support of his major sponsors who backed his dream to return the America’s Cup to its original home and there was a desire to build strongly on what they had achieved in their Bermuda debut.
He had retained a core team amidst a robust review of their Bermuda effort.
The Brits had constant speed problems which never made them a serious contender and that was something they needed to address.
“We are restructuring and examining where our specific focus should be to create a winning formula,” Ainslie, hugely respected internationally, said.
“As a new team, we were playing a game of catch up all the way through the 35th America’s Cup and that put a lot of pressure on us. While we did make mistakes in strategy we have identified them and learned from them.
“If I had to pick one thing out for the next campaign, it’s to do a better job of matching our racing strategy to the available resources.”
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Beaten skipper Jimmy Spithill has given a strong indication that Larry Ellison’s Oracle Team USA will stay in the America’s Cup and try to win back the Auld Mug.
The future of the powerful American syndicate has been one of the main intrigues of the competition since Emirates Team New Zealand wrestled the Cup away from them in Bermuda in June.
Team New Zealand’s decision to return to monohulls and go away from the multihulls that Ellison and Oracle championed in the last three editions, added to doubts about their involvement in the next Cup to be sailed in Auckland in 2021.
There have even been suggestions that Ellison may look to set up a rival competition, keeping the 50-foot foiling catamarans that impressed in Bermuda alive.
But Spithill, in a chat with one of his and Oracle’s sponsors, Red Bull, said there was a desire within the syndicate to avenge their loss.
“We will definitely be chasing this America’s Cup,” he told Redbull.com.
Spithill said Ellison would want to fully digest the latest protocol released by Team New Zealand.
“But we want to go and get that Cup back. When you’ve been involved with a great group of people, especially a successful team, it is addictive. It does become an obsession. Once you get the taste of it, you want to taste it again,” he said, admitting he was now in a different position.
“Being the defender, you have a target on your back. Every single one of those teams wants to take you down. And now we find ourselves in the position where we are one of the teams now – we are chasing the defender.”
Spithill said it had been a difficult time coming to terms with the loss in Bermuda.
“Losing the America’s Cup is one of the toughest things I have ever experienced. It is hard to put it into words. It is a real empty feeling. For me, one of the worst things is letting people down, and that is how I left this America’s Cup. Feeling, that ultimately, I let all my team-mates down. I have got to embrace that. You have got to feel the pain somewhat and use that to motivate you and to learn the lessons,” he told Redbull.com.
“At the end of every America’s Cup campaign, regardless of whether you win or lose, there is always a period of somewhat depression.
“You go from having a routine: you get up, go to training, go out on the water, all your meals are planned, you get used to operating right on the edge; then at the end of the campaign, it stops. You wake up and you don’t know what to do with yourself. You think, ‘well what do I do now?’ It takes some time to be able to wind down and go back to normal family life.”
But he was determined to take positives from the loss.
“After such a long campaign with so much on the line, when you’re on the losing end you have to make sure that you reflect on the experience. You want to learn from it and make sure you grow stronger from it so you can come back and have the chance to race again for it. I think what I have come back with is that [in our campaign] we were too conservative and I didn’t go with my instincts enough.”
Any new Oracle challenge for the America’s Cup would be hit by the tougher nationality rules imposed by Team New Zealand. Oracle’s crews in San Francisco 2013 and Bermuda 2017 were largely Australian-flavoured, including Spithill, tactician Tom Slingsby, and wing trimmer Kyle Langford.
Slingsby is already investigating the possibility of launching an Australian challenge for the Cup.
Syndicates can register their challenges for the 2021 America’s Cup from January 1 next year with a cut-off of June 30 to avoid a US$1m late entry penalty fee.
The New York Yacht Club have already confirmed their intentions to be in Auckland but there has been strong speculation in the United States of additional American involvement.
Britain’s Ben Ainslie Racing say they are keen to be involved in Auckland as are Team France.
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Nathan Outteridge skippered Artemis in the Louis Vuitton challenger series for the 2017 America’s Cup. Photo credit: Photosport
While the New York Yacht Club is set to compete for the America’s Cup again, along with challengers of record Luna Rossa, just who else will be on the start line in Auckland in 2021 remains to be seen.
Team New Zealand was pushed hard by Swedish syndicate Artemis in Bermuda before Peter Burling and co beat Oracle Team USA to win the Auld Mug.
Artemis’ owner Torbjörn Törnqvist is waiting to see the full protocol, and just what the switch back to monohulls means before committing to the race, skipper Nathan Outteridge told Andrew Gourdie and Jim Kayes on RadioLIVE’s Sunday Sport.
“The protocol doesn’t specifically say what type of boat, but a change to monohulls means a reasonable change,” said Outteridge.
“Speaking for myself I’d like to see the progression and development of high-performance sailing boats, but it’s not my position to make that decision so we’ll have to wait and see.”
He said Törnqvist was “very passionate” about the direction the America’s Cup was heading in.
“He thinks that for himself and his involvement in sailing, he would like the high performance foiling yachts, so I think that will play a big part in what he wants to do,” Outteridge said.
“But until we see the full details, it’s hard to make a commitment one way or another.”
It’s not yet known if the monohulls will be foiling or not.
If Artemis decide not to compete at the 36th edition of the America’s Cup, Outteridge admitted he’s not sure exactly what he would do, but he is expecting them to challenge.
Artemis’ owner Torbjörn Törnqvist. Photo credit: AAP
“I’m very committed to Artemis at this stage,” he said.
“I have been with them for the last two campaigns and had many discussions with Törnqvist about the team’s future, so should the team decide to go ahead and race at the America’s Cup I’ll be there with them putting together a sailing team.
“Having said all that, if the team decides not to enter, I haven’t thought that far ahead, so we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Outteridge said Artemis decides not to compete, he’d want to join the Australian boat.
“I think that would great if Tom could make that happen,” said Outteridge.
“It’s about finding the right people and getting them involved, and I think Tom has been working hard on that, so I’m confident he will be able to get it together.
“Tom and I have been mates for a long time and funnily enough we have never sailed together, so if Artemis decided not to go ahead, then I’d love to compete with Australia.”
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The next America’s Cup scheduled for 2021 is shaping up to be a “royal” sailing event of eminent competitors of America’s Cup royalty with not only Luna Rossa (ITA) returning to the competition, but also the New York Yacht Club (USA) after what will be in 2021 an 18-year absence.
The US club who held the America’s Cup for 132 years may again be racing the aristocratic Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR), for the first time, in the America’s Cup since the 1958 Match in Newport, Rhode Island.
Whether or not you are a follower of the America’s Cup, New Zealand Government funding of an America’s Cup in New Zealand is an independently documented economic winner for all New Zealand. There are several published independent economic reports all of which illustrate the enormous gains for New Zealand when the America’s Cup was held in Auckland in 2000 and again in 2003.(i)
After the America’s Cup was won in 1995, both central and local Government invested $130m in helping to host the next Cup event in Auckland. Much of that expenditure was in the redevelopment of Auckland’s Viaduct Basin to house competitor bases.
What was the payback? A $639.6m windfall to New Zealand economy, 10,620 new full-time jobs and a legacy public amenity. Central government expenditure was more than recouped through an increased tax take by way of GST, PAYE, FBT, fuel tax and import duties collections paid by competitors, officials, event and team sponsors as well as additional visitors to New Zealand.
Local government continues to enjoy the substantially increased rates revenue it receives from the redeveloped Viaduct Basin area.
Team New Zealand’s home win over Luna Rossa in 2000 made for even more spectacular returns. With the facilities already built, a more modest $8m was needed from the government for the 2002/2003 America’s Cup, but New Zealand received yet another $533.4m injection into its economy and another 8,180 full-time jobs.
Central government received another massive tax windfall. It is these successive tax windfalls that help fund extra government expenditure in health, education and social services. They also demonstrate why it is vitally important to invest not only in the event but also in Team New Zealand so that the nation might continue to enjoy these benefits.
What New Zealand’s past America’s Cup experiences tell us, there is an indisputable economic case for government support for the 36th America’s Cup deserving bi-partisan support. Central and local government politics and personalities should not be allowed do not sink the boat.
The provision in the recently published Protocol, of the 36th America’s Cup event allowing the event to be lost to Italy, needs to be taken seriously. As past America’s Cup arbitrations and New York courts have affirmed, there is no legal requirement in the Deed of Gift that racing for the Cup must be in the home waters of the Cup holder.
As the trustee of the Cup, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron owes legal duties, not to the New Zealand economy, but to do the best for the Cup competition.
Make no mistake, Italy, the only other nation where Cup is as deeply popular as it is has been in New Zealand, will be as eager to hold the event, as it was when it put its hand up in 2003 and after the Golden Gate Yacht Club won the Cup from Alinghi in 2010.
Now is the time for our political leaders to put aside party politics and together step up to the sort of leadership well demonstrated by our sporting leaders before it is too late.
Hamish Ross is a 20 year America’s Cup legal veteran over five America’s Cup campaigns, mostly with overseas based teams and was between 2003-2011 involved in America’s Cup venue negotiations both in Europe and in North America. He currently lives in Auckland.
(i) The Economic Impact of the America’s Cup Regatta, Auckland 1999-2000 (McDermont Fairgray Group, Auckland, 2000); The America’s Cup Build-Up to the 2003 Defence (Market Economics Limited for the Ministry of Tourism, New Zealand, Auckland, October 2002); The Economic Impact of the 2003 America’s Cup Defence (Market Economics Limited for the Ministry of Tourism, New Zealand, Auckland, October 2003);Comparison of the America’s Cup Economic Impact 2000-2003 (Market Economics Limited for the New Zealand Ministry of Tourism, Auckland, 2003).
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Team Dennis Conner competed at the 2003 America’s Cup.
The New York Yacht Club is expected to announce their challenge for the 36th America’s Cup tomorrow.
Sailing website sailinganarchy.com reports a syndicate funded mainly by the DeVos family (Quantum Racing, Amway) and long-time maxi competitor Hap Fauth is poised to re-enter the Cup.
The club, which has a long history with the America’s Cup has not competed since 2003 in Auckland with Dennis Conner and Stars and Stripes.
Britain, Australia and Switzerland have expressed interest in the 2021 Auckland event and Challenger of Record Luna Rossa of Italy will be on the startline.
Sailinganarchy also reports that a US west coast challenge is being talked about and Swiss
syndicate Alinghi has also hinted it may be involved.
Groupama Team France also intends to be in Auckland.
New York won the first America’s Cup challenge in 1851 and held it until 1983 when businessman Alan Bond’s Australia II brought it Downunder.
Team France’s Franck Cammas has said they will do everything to get to Auckland.
“The Cup remains the Cup, with major technological developments, and I like it. If we have the means, we will go with motivation. We will work hard to get there. ”
Cammas admitted they would have preferred to continue in the 50-foot foiling catamaran class but believed they could be competitive in a high-performance monohull, noting he and his Groupama team had won the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, beating Team New Zealand’s entry Camper.
“It is a return to a tradition of the Cup. I’m not saying it’s good news, we have to adapt. The last time we built a boat (except for Bermuda), it was a monohull, and it was the fastest in the world. The monohull is not unknown to us in France. You do not have to have a complex. ”
Having largely relied on French sailors for Bermuda, Cammas liked the nationality clause brought in by the Kiwis around the crew. The biggest obstacle would be finance, predicting his team’s budget of $25m for Bermuda would need to increase by a further $12m to be competitive.
Source: NZ Herald
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There were few surprises at a pre-election meeting hosted by Penlink Now in Manly recently – although the strong turnout came as a surprise to organisers.
There can be few other single issues on the Coast that would drag close to 100 people out to a public meeting on a cold and rainy Sunday.
All the Rodney candidates views on Penlink were already well publicised, most recently in Hibiscus Matters’ election guide (September 6 issue).
At the meeting, on September 10, candidates from National and NZ First promised speedy delivery of the project. A more measured tone came from Labour. Candidate Marja Lubeck said her party is putting more money into regionally significant roads, and that Penlink should be top of that list. She favours the four-lane option, saying that the two-lane road was approved in 2001 and since then there has been significant growth. She said Labour will (within six months of taking office) review Penlink along with other large roading projects and agree a new, updated 30-year Auckland Transport Alignment Project with Auckland Council.
Rodney MP Mark Mitchell made a commitment to get the project started as a state highway, within three years of being re-elected. He said that Penlink is the first project on Crown Infrastructure Partners’ ‘to do’ list and that it will be delivered as tolled road via a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
He said to get it started within three years it will need to be the two-lane version, with clip ons possible at a later date to extend it to four lanes.
NZ First’s Tracey Martin promised to deliver the full, four-lane road as a Build Own Operate and Transfer Back (BOOT) or PPP and questioned the need for tolls, saying it would be the only road in Auckland to require them and once private investment is obtained, Government should “stump up the rest”. “Why should we be the only people in Auckland paying a toll?” she asked.
ACT’s Beth Houlbrooke was focused on ensuring that Penlink allows for driverless electric cars, which take up less space and could effectively turn two lanes into three.
The meeting was chaired by Penlink Now chair Stephen Lyttleton, who said the team currently has eight members, including four who joined 14 years ago.
One foundation member, Gerry Rea of Arkles Bay, put forward a funding proposal that involves the issue of bonds for public subscription underwritten by Government. This gained a favourable response, particularly from Tracey Martin.
Details of Mr Rea’s proposal are linked here.
If Penlink is built as a two-lane highway, Auckland Transport plans to keep it that way as long as possible.
The plan is to control the number of cars using the road by raising the toll if demand gets too heavy and traffic begins to clog up.
Auckland Transport’s (AT) strategic projects group manager, Theunis van Schalkwyk, told the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board that the two-lane option is all about value for money – improving the cost/benefit ratio and increasing revenue from tolling.
“Previously the toll revenue was to be at similar levels to the Northern Gateway for a period of around 25 years after which the toll would be removed,” he said. “As soon as the tolls are removed, demand will go up, and four lanes might be needed, so the idea is to manage demand by never removing the toll and putting the price up if demand gets too heavy.”
Member Caitlin Watson asked how much the toll could be and Mr van Schalkwyk said it was originally $2.20 but could go up to $3.80 and would be adjusted every three years.
He said “demand management” would mean Penlink could remain a two-lane road for a lot longer than 25 years. It would also allow buses to operate without the need for dedicated bus lanes; he said the current two-lane design includes a shared cycle/walkway.
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In an innovative solution to a problem, Fairway Bay developers Top Harbour has reached an agreement in principle with the NZ Defence Force to reconstruct a rifle range at the Army Bay training base.
Fairway Bay is expected to generate approximately 10,000m3 of surplus clean fill as part of the next stage of its development. Using this to improve the Army’s rifle range is “a win-win situation” according to Top Harbour development consultant Michael Webb-Speight.
He says there are constraints on the use of the Defence Force’s existing rifle range, particularly due to the popularity of a fishing spot in the safety zone – the range can’t be used when there are boats within the safety exclusion zone.
While the details are still being finalised, Mr Webb-Speight says the idea is to use the excess material to change the geometry of the rifle range, improving its safety characteristics. The changes will make the exclusion zone smaller so that there will be more days when shooting practice can take place.
“Opportunities like this do not come along very often”, Mr Webb-Speight says. “It is truly a win-win situation – where Defence get the benefit of an improved training facility at no cost, and we get to safely dispose of surplus material without upsetting the residents along the peninsula.”
Fairway Bay will pay all the costs of obtaining the relevant consents and doing the work, which is expected to take place over summer. Mr Webb-Speight says that he expects that this will be less expensive than it would have been to move the material off the peninsula – in addition, it will significantly reduce the traffic effects of truck movements on Whangaparaoa Road and through Silverdale.
He says Top Harbour did something similar a few years ago, using fill to make a new driving range at Gulf Harbour Country Club.
Rodney MP and Defence Minister Mark Mitchell, who has been consulted on the plan, says he is pleased that a practical common-sense solution has been found, with clear benefits for all parties.
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