News that the New York Yacht Club plans to enter a challenge for the America's Cup in 2021 is wonderful for the event, and one more reason for Auckland to ensure the cup is defended in New Zealand. The NYYC was, or course, the holder of the cup for the much celebrated 132 years, from the time it was minted until Australia II beat Dennis Conner's Liberty in 1983.
Famously, it was long said if the Auld Mug was ever taken from the New York club it would be replaced in its case with the head of the losing skipper. But Conner survived to lead a challenge in the club's name in 2002-03. That was the last time the historic holder turned up for the quadrennial event. The fact they are coming back now lends credence to Team New Zealand's case for returning the contest to monohulls.
Grant Dalton's syndicate is banking on the appeal of more traditional sailing over the spectacle of foiling catamarans organised by Russell Coutts with Oracle Team USA, which says it will not be challenging next time.
Dalton says the NYYC entry "sets the credentials really for the next cup," and who could argue? He says Britain will also be represented with a boat skippered by Ben Ainslie. With both historic rivals present it could almost seem like the America's Cup of legend with races so often off Newport, Rhode Island. Except that it is to be off Takapuna next time, if the facilities are provided. Auckland must make sure of it.