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AC36: ETNZ goes on the offensive; puts major heat on the Auckland City Council and Wellington

AUCKLAND – Headline in this morning's Sunday New Zealand Herald: "Russia and UAE set sail for America's Cup hosting rights." Opening paragraphs: "Team New Zealand are being wooed by backers in the Middle East prepared to offer up to US$80 million to take the America's Cup regatta away from New Zealand. The Cup defenders want a multi-million dollar hosting fee from the Government to stage the event in Auckland. But the Herald on Sunday has learned Team New Zealand top brass are looking at a raft of other possible destinations, including Sochi, in Russia, and Abu Dhabi. And it's understood the syndicate could receive up to US$80m (NZ$116m) from a potential hosting deal in Abu Dhabi."

Negotiating tactics? Or are Grant Dalton & Co. serious, and about to take a page out of the book of his nemesis Russell Coutts, who, famously, moved AC35 out of the country of the defending yacht club (GGYC, USA) to Bermuda for a large hosting fee?

And what about the September 28th announcement made jointly by the Defender and the Italian Challenger of Record, that if AC36 could not be held in NZL it would be hosted in Italy?

Full NZH story. And, to say the least, developing.

Do any of our Dear Readers seriously think that AC36 will not be held in Auckland? But then, how many of you could have imagined that AC35 would be held in Bermuda?