For 34 years, a metaphorical space has existed in the New York Yacht Club's trophy cabinet.

That dates to when the John Bertrand-skippered Australia II defeated the Dennis Conner-helmed Liberty to whisk the America's Cup out of the United States for the first time in 132 years.

Conner led the seventh and deciding race off Newport, Rhode Island, but failed to cover Bertrand on the penultimate leg. He paid for his error with the Auld Mug.

The NYYC's commodore Philip Lotz told Radio Sport's Mark Watson they want it back, after confirming their first challenge since 2002-03 this week.


"It [the America's Cup] has been part of the club's history. Everybody's aware of it. It is always a topic of conversation.

"We're confident and looking forward to it. It's a chance to showcase some of the better US sailors, both in Olympic and non-Olympic events.

"Before it was not something we could participate in and we had no way of planning anything. If Oracle kept winning they'd represent the United States, and we wouldn't have an opportunity."

In a nod to tradition, the 36th America's Cup will be contested in 75-foot monohulls.
As a result, the NYYC challenge will be led by John Fauth and Doug DeVos, who are considered racing experts in that format.

Terry Hutchinson, who has sailed for four America's Cup syndicates including Emirates Team New Zealand in 2007, is also expected to join. He has dealt closely with both Fauth and DeVos, and is a NYYC member.

Lotz would not be drawn on who might be approached from overseas, but was happy with what they had generated locally.

"We've been lucky enough to be approached by a great team of sailors who want to represent the club and challenge for the Cup.

"Both [Fauth and DeVos] have led strong programmes and have teamed together to create a challenge to represent New York.

"They're out there putting a team together and they're out to win, so they want high quality people."

Lotz said the NYYC's relationship with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron - who Emirates Team New Zealand represent - was "friendly".

"I wasn't involved in previous challenges, but members have said it was a close relationship. I spent a day at the finals with Emirates Team New Zealand in Bermuda and I was warmly welcomed.

"Everybody was in awe of what was accomplished there. Whether you love or hate catamarans, there was respect for what was happening, the technology involved and what it took to put that together."

Watson asked if space had been kept free for the Auld Mug's return.

"We don't want to get ahead of the programme," Lotz said. "But I'm sure if we won the Cup back, we'd find some."