America's Cup: Auckland's hopes of hosting 2024 Cup appear gone, as Team New Zealand reject businessman Mark Dunphy

  • 22/09/2021

Hopes of the next America's Cup defence being staged in Auckland appear to have sailed, with Emirates Team NZ refusing to deal with businessman Mark Dunphy.

Team NZ have taken aim at Dunphy - the man behind the bid to stage the next regatta in Auckland - revealing evidence they say illustrates "underhanded and deceitful attempts to undermine" them and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Team NZ allege Dunphy has worked behind closed doors to generate a case against the Royal Yacht Squadron of the UK, the current Challengers of Record.

That case would have involved both the New York Yacht Club, as well as the New York Supreme Court.

Dunphy has allegedly tried to have the Royal Yacht Squadron replaced, which would throw Team NZ's current plans into disarray. That would restrict funding chances, and give other syndicates a better chance of beating Team NZ.

Team NZ claim to be in possession of an email sent to the New York Yacht Club by New Zealander Dr Hamish Ross. Dr Ross had worked as legal counsel for Swiss syndicate Alinghi for the 2003, 2007 and 2010 America's Cups.

The email outlined the intention of seeing the New York Yacht Club take legal action against the Royal Yacht Squadron, in order to disrupt the venue selection process for the next iteration of the America's Cup. Dunphy was copied into that email.

But that plot was rejected by New York Yacht Club's Commodore Christopher Culver.

While Team NZ chief executive Grant Dalton insists not all hope is lost for an Auckland defence of the 'Auld Mug', Dunphy will play no part in it.

"Never a hope through him, first of all," Dalton tells Newshub. "We knew this has been going on for a long time. 

"It's never going to be without hope that it is in Auckland, but it certainly won't be anything to do with Mark Dunphy."

Last week, Team NZ delayed their announcement of a host city for the next Cup defence, giving three preferred candidates - reportedly Cork in Ireland, Barcelona in Spain and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia - more time to finalise their bids.