The commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron - the yacht club behind Team New Zealand - was fuming last night at what he said was a calculated snub by the America's Cup Event Authority, the body set up by Oracle Team USA to run the event.
Steve Burrett, in San Francisco as part of the challenge, said he had not been invited to an 800-person America's Cup party on Friday (NZT) and was offended that Team NZ had been sent only 17 tickets. Burrett said: "I take this as a personal affront and an affront on behalf of the team. This has been done by people who have little or no idea about the traditions of the America's Cup. It's bloody pathetic.
"It just hardens my resolve - I hope the boys beat them on the water and take the Cup off them.
"I think this is probably indicative of the lack of care as far as yacht clubs are concerned in this America's Cup tenure. This (regatta) is all about money."
Traditionally, the America's Cup is a yacht-club-to-yacht-club engagement.
Burrett brought the Lipton Cup up from New Zealand with him and delivered it to the defending yacht club, San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club, and their vice-commodore, Tom Ehman. Ehman is also director of external affairs for the America's Cup and is closely linked with the Oracle team, representing them in the ill-fated "trespassing" protest against Team NZ.
"Tom Ehman and others at Golden Gate Yacht Club knew I was here but the only way I found out about the America's Cup party was when I overheard a comment.
"I just think this stuff is indicative of how this mob have just lost the plot with the America's Cup."