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AC36: ETNZ teases early 2021 date, nationality rule, constructed-in-country clause; but what no else

AUCKLAND, NZL – Now that all of its victory parades in the land of the long white cloud are complete, Emirates Team New Zealand has begun teasing the sailing world with details of the 36th America's Cup. So far, it's not exactly breaking news.

As predicted here on SAILING ILLUSTRATED weeks ago, even as ETNZ was in the process of beating up on ORACLE TEAM USA, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Challenger of Record, Circolo della Vela Sicilia, have announced that the protocol will have a nationality clauses for competing crew members and a constructed-in-county requirement for the yachts.

Both had been stripped away to varying degrees over the last few Cups. Restoring both will bring the competition back to what many in the yachting community are hoping for, if not also in line with the Deed of Gift.

We also long ago told our Dear Readers that the protocol wouldn't be revealed for a few months. Sure enough, the RNZYS and CVS announced it will be revealed in September.

The big news yet to drop, of course, will be when the Defender and COR announce their choice of boat. Everyone wants to know whether they'll return to monohulls or stay with catamarans. When the Defender and COR have made a decision, we can say with some confidence that SI will know, too. And, of course, we will more than likely let you know on these pages before you read it anywhere else.

According to a news release today, the parties say they are considering the possibility of the Challenger Selection Series and the AC Match being sailed in Auckland in late 2020 and early 2021 during the New Zealand summer. That, too, had been long since predicted by SI.

Finally, we can reveal that the real issue du jour in AKL is growing concern on the part of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron as to whether or not the real Cup was turned over to them, or was it one of the replicas that Larry Ellison secretly had made? Developing....