After winning the 1995 America’s Cup in San Diego, which saw 11 teams scattered across two harbors, the New Zealand team set about creating a venue in Auckland like no other to stage the 2000 America’s Cup.
With government development dollars, the waterfront was transformed into a Cup village, turning the Viaduct Basin, a run-down base for a few fishing boats, into a single area like pits in a F1 Grand Prix.
This set the standard for every America’s Cup to follow, with significant investment made in Valencia, San Francisco, and Bermuda to host the spectacle. What comes around goes around, with Auckland now needing to pony up again for the 2021 edition.
The City has moved on in the last couple decades as this story by Elaine Glusac in the New York Timesreports. She had 36 hours in Auckland, and no shocker, used a couple hours for a sail…
The construction cranes that pierce the Auckland skyline are a visual indication of the growth New Zealand’s largest city is experiencing. Close to one-third of New Zealand’s estimated 4.5 million population lives in Auckland, a geographically blessed — and traffic-cursed — city spread over at least 50 volcanic cones on a North Island neck of land between two large harbors.
The emerging Wynyard Quarter on the western waterfront is home to a new theater, a park where movies are projected onto the side of a former cement silo in the Southern Hemisphere summer and several restaurants. And with any luck, the America’s Cup venue in 2021.
Auckland’s personality, like New Zealand’s, is laid-back and outdoorsy, but its sophistication shines in its expanding art scene, thriving fashion industry and a new generation of chefs embracing native ingredients.
The city estimates that one in four Auckland residents owns a boat, and seemingly four in four are sailing fans — particularly after the Kiwi team won the most recent America’s Cup race versus the American team so decisively.
The America’s Cup Sailing experience from the tour company Explore Group (180 dollars) allows amateurs to feel the thrill of a heeling 80-foot America’s Cup class yacht and the grind of raising the sails on two-hour trips in Waitemata Harbor.
The fleet includes a 2003 vintage boat that served as a trial boat for Team New Zealand long before the twin-hulled, hydrofoil catamarans of present-day racing came along. But the older model still provides plenty of speed and the crew encourages all passengers to steer and crank on the grinders to adjust the sails throughout the trip.
Airbnb offers great value in Auckland where a shortage of hotel rooms has inspired a hotel construction boom. For example, the one-bedroom listed as a Luxury Bohemian City Apartment is in a historic building on Queen Street, downtown’s main street, with high ceilings, an efficiency kitchen and plenty of plants. The apartment costs around 136 dollars a night.
Full report… click here.
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
December 31, 2018: Late entries deadline
March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched
2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
During 2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
December 10-20, 2020: America’s Cup Christmas Race
January and February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match