New Zealand Government To Provide $4.2M To Prevent America's Cup Poaching
New Zealand's government has provided a NZ$5M ($4.2M) investment to the Team New Zealand America's Cup syndicate to stop its top design and sailing personnel being poached "as they look to build another campaign for world's oldest sporting trophy," according to Greg Stutchbury of REUTERS. Team New Zealand was beaten by holders OracleTeam USA "capturing the imagination of the nation and providing valuable global exposure and networking possibilities to local businesses." Syndicate head Grant Dalton and skipper Dean Barker had said that "key design and sailing personnel had been approached by rival syndicates hours after the final race and funding needed to be secured quickly if the team was to remain intact for a future challenge." Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said, "Cabinet agreed to provide $5 million in bridging funding to Team New Zealand to ensure key team members including designers, sailors, support crew and administration staff are secured until May 2014, by which time Team New Zealand plans to finalize a decision on its involvement in the next regatta" (REUTERS, 10/21). In Auckland, Claire Trevett wrote Joyce said thay "there are no strings attached" to the NZ$5M funding for Team NZ. He said that future funding if a challenge went ahead "would probably be on a similar basis to last time in which the Government put in one third of the total funding raised." That came to NZ$36M. Joyce said that it was a tricky time as other syndicates started "sniffing around" and delaying would mean that "other challengers got a head start in areas such as sponsorships" (NZ HERALD, 10/21). In Sydney, Nicole Jeffery wrote Olympic Gold Medalist Tom Slingsby said that Australia's new America's Cup challenge "has just weeks to put key personnel in place if it is to beat foreign challenges to Australia's best sailing talent." Slingsby, 29, "is one of those most in demand after serving as the strategist on the winning Oracle Team USA boat in San Francisco last month", and revealed that a number of challengers had already beaten a path to his door on the New South Wales central coast since that victory. He has also had discussions with Sandy Oatley who, with his father, billionaire winemaker Bob Oatley, "is heading the Australian challenge." Slingsby: "They have to act really fast. After the cup, there's a sort of transfer window. Less than a week after the cup I had a few teams approach me and I have been in talks with a lot of them. It would be great to represent my country but I have to make a smart decision for my career and at the moment I am with the defender so I am already in the final" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/22).