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The AC Defenders have rebuffed the surprise Challenge by the NYYC

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Emirates Team New Zealand have won the 35th America’s Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand have won the 35th America’s Cup

The America's Cup Defenders have rebuffed the surprise Challenge lodged by the New York Yacht Club, on May 6, and announced earlier today.

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The Cup holders issued a statement two hours after the release of the Challenge and draft Protocol submitted by New York Yacht Club who successfully defended the trophy from 1870 to 1983.

RNZYS and Emirates Team New Zealand (as the current Defender of the America’s Cup) welcome the New York Yacht Club’s interest in the next America’s Cup, but questions their motives for such a presumptuous statement when entries do not open for some time.

There have been some valid points raised by NYYC, a number of which are already being considered in developing a progressive and forward thinking Protocol between the Defender and Ineos Team UK and the RYS as (Challenger of Record for the 37th America’s Cup) who are the two parties responsible for developing the next Protocol," the statement concluded.

The Protocol put forward by New York Yacht Club seeks to extend the agreement to cover successive Cups and sets out a set of venues for the Cup regardless of which club actually hold the trophy.

Those venues are shared around the four teams that competed in the 36th America's Cup in Auckland, and prescribes for the Cup to be contested every three years, with the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron being required to declare the venue for AC37 by June 21st - 10 days inside the deadline for negotiation of the venue with the NZ Government.

The Protocol, which runs to almost 150 pages, also endeavours to impose budget caps on campaign budgets of US$75million per cycle, with other budget limits nested within that period. Typically these have been over $100million per cycle

Team size limitations will also be introduced, with a maximum team size of 85-120 people of which 20 are allowed to be designers.

Existing teams will be allowed to build only one new AC75, new teams will be permitted to build two new boats. The Protocol objective is to create a fleet of over 100 AC75's over a period of five America's Cup cycles.

Limitations are proposed on testing time on the water, time spent in observation of other teams and similar measures. Generally testing time is limited to 100 days per year and only allowed during the summer months of the northern or southern hemisphere.

The Protocol calls for the establishment of a Commission to be a permanent body for the control of the Cup, regardless of who the current holder happens to be. The Commission comprises the group of Clubs known informally as the "Cup Trustees", or representatives of the Clubs who have previously held the Cup going back to 1870, including some which have been inactive in Cup affairs for several cycles, and others with only intermittent involvement.

Events comprising the America's Cup Season racing will be held with both the Challengers and Defenders competing. A Challenger Selection Series will be held at the Cup venue, in which the Defender cannot participate. The Defender and winner of the Challenger Selections Series will contest the America's Cup Match.

The purpose of the comprehensive Protocol and Challenge is not clear, as the New York Yacht Club would surely have been aware that a Challenge had already been lodged by Royal Yacht Squadron Racing and accepted by RNZYS. There is currently a three sided process underway over negotiation of a Protocol with RYSR, venue negotiations with the New Zealand Government, due to end on June 30, 2021. Emirates Team NZ also has responses to its Venue Selection Process which gained more credibility after the conclusion of the 36th America's Cup, when RNZYS/ETNZ were confirmed as Defenders of the 37th America's Cup Match.

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