AMERICA'S CUP LATEST
* How world media reacted: Team NZ 'masterful' as Luna Rossa face the 'impossible'
* Phil Robertson: This is no San Francisco, Luna Rossa are maxed out
* How Peter Burling's local knowledge proved pivotal
* How Luna Rossa plan to fight back
Team New Zealand is on the verge of retaining the America's Cup but could also be about to do a deal that would take it offshore.
Newstalk ZB understands Team New Zealand chief Grant Dalton and Ineos Team UK owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe have two options on the table for the next Cup defence.
One is in New Zealand in 2024, but the other which has been discussed is a one-off defence against Ineos Team UK excluding other challengers on the Isle of Wight next year, ZB is reporting.
"There's some bizarre stuff going on," America's Cup veteran Brad Butterworth told ZB's Mike Hosking today. "The ball is always bouncing in the America's Cup. They are talking about Ineos I guess funding the whole thing - both teams would go to the Isle of Wight and do an America's Cup like it was 200 years ago."
The UK Royal Yacht Squadron could be confirmed as the next Challenger of Record (COR) as early as this evening, if Team New Zealand successfully retain the Cup.
With the match score at 6-3, the Defender needs one more win to retain the Auld Mug.
If that happens today, the Herald understands that the Royal Yacht Squadron from the United Kingdom will be rubber stamped as the COR for the 37th America's Cup.
Royal Yacht Squadron commodore James Sheldon is currently in Auckland, with his associates, on standby in case of a New Zealand victory.
The process of agreeing terms with the next COR is remarkably swift - as the deed of gift allows for any other yacht club to put in a challenge, that must be accepted should it be considered "legitimate" - and it will be no different in this case.
It's understood that if Team New Zealand win today, Sheldon and the commodore of the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron will meet in an undisclosed room to sign the relevant documents.
It would mean that Ben Ainslie's Ineos Team UK would be in line to represent COR in the next Cup.
There has been speculation around the docks for months about the likelihood of the British becoming the Challengers' representative.
Ineos Team UK have consistently denied the rumours, though Ainslie admitted he has a close relationship with Team NZ chief executive Grant Dalton, since his stint with the New Zealand syndicate for the 2007 America's Cup.
The British are also the logical partners for the next Cup, given how the association between Team New Zealand and existing COR Luna Rossa has steadily deteriorated over the last year.
Even though their combined efforts produced a successful design class and innovative boat with the AC75s, it's impossible to imagine them working together for the next Cup, given the clashes that have played out publicly and privately between the two syndicates.
The New York Yacht Club is also not a realistic option. That's partly because they have previously advocated returning to traditional (non-foiling) monohulls for the Cup and also because the backers of American Magic are yet to decide if they will launch another challenge.
Team NZ to match point
Jimmy Spithill summed it up with two words: "Sorry, boys". Peter Burling described it as "good fun".
Two of the world's best sailors go head to head for the 10th - and possibly final - time in this America's Cup today, with Burling's Team New Zealand just one win away from retaining the Auld Mug.
And it is likely to be a double blow for the Italians - they are set to be replaced as the Challenger of Record, with the UK Royal Yacht Squadron (and, by extension, Ben Ainslie and Ineos Team UK) set to take the responsibility for the next America's Cup.
Spithill was left apologising to his team after he opened the gate for Team New Zealand to foil past Luna Rossa in yesterday's race nine, giving the Kiwis a 6-3 lead in the best-of-13 series.
Team New Zealand will be hoping to crack open the champagne today after the weather put paid to any hopes for a second race - and possible celebrations - yesterday.
The shifty conditions in Auckland meant the start of the day's first race was delayed and the second race was called off.
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Race nine was tight, with the Italians holding a slight edge and leading on the penultimate leg until Spithill failed to cover Team New Zealand. The Kiwis - helped by Burling's local knowledge of the wind-shift conditions of the Hauraki Gulf - were able to cruise past and close out the race.
"It was a pretty tight race all in all and one right shift up that last beat really decided it for us," Burling said.
"It was good fun racing. It was great to be back in here on Course C and having a great battle with a really good team, but great to come away with another win too."
It was a devastating way for things to unfold for Luna Rossa, who had sailed a perfect race up until the fifth leg and after crossing the finish line, co-helmsman Jimmy Spithill addressed his team with a simple "sorry, boys."
AUT Sailing Professor Mark Orams said it was good luck and good management from the Kiwis.
"That was one of the best America's Cup races you will ever see," said Orams. "Two great teams just fighting it out, with everything they had, some great defensive moves from the Italians, but in the end they were beaten by the relentless attacking from the Kiwis. They eventually cracked them."
Kiwi Olympic sailing medalist Jan Shearer said: "Luna Rossa will be a bit frightened by Team New Zealand's speed. Prada hung in there which is pretty impressive."
Shifting weather conditions ahead of Race 10 yesterday saw racing abandoned for the day, with the teams set to return to the water today. Racing is scheduled to get under way at 4.15pm today.
Today's conditions are expected to be ideal for racing, with American Magic skipper Dean Barker saying there could be "some epic sailing" today.
Heading into the Cup racing?
• Give yourself plenty of time and think about catching a ferry, train or bus to watch the Cup.
• Make sure your AT HOP card is in your pocket. It's the best way to ride.
• Don't forget to scan QR codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app when on public transport and entering the America's Cup Village.
• For more ways to enjoy race day, visit at.govt.nz/americascup.