Team New Zealand have indicated they will strengthen the nationality rules for the America's Cup, confirming the protocol will contain a "constructed in country" rule as well as a nationality requirement for the competing crews. But potential challengers will have to wait a couple more months to learn the full details of the next event, with Team New Zealand and challenger of record Luna Rossa announcing today the protocol for the event will be revealed in September.
Emirates Team New Zealand revealed a couple of broader details, confirming the America's Cup match and the preceding challenger selection series will be held in early 2021 during the New Zealand summer. They also underlined their intentions to bring back a national element to the event.
"In recognition of the fundamental condition of the Deed of Gift that the Cup be preserved as a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries, the Protocol will contain a 'constructed in country' requirement for competing yachts and a nationality requirement for competing crew members," Team New Zealand said in a statement today.
The "constructed in country" rule - one of the underlying principles of the event for many years - has relaxed significantly over the past two editions. This year's event in Bermuda only required a small portion of the bows be constructed in the country of origin.
All of Oracle Team USA's boats and componentry for the past two editions have been built at Core Composites in Warkworth.
The statement contained no mention of what class of yacht will be used for the next event.
Luna Rossa boss Patrizio Bertelli is said to strongly favour a return to monohulls, but the feeling among many of the current crop of America's Cup sailors is that what Oracle Team USA bosses Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison created with the move to foiling multihulls should be preserved. Given Team NZ won the America's Cup in foiling catamarans, it would seem counterproductive to throw away the past three years of research and development. The issue of what class of yacht will be used is expected to be a determining factor in what challengers it attracts to the event.