America's Cup: Team NZ disappointed, but on track after Australians go

Emirates Team New Zealand practice the first reaching leg before racing. America's Cup 34. 17/9/2013
Emirates Team New Zealand says the Australian Challenger’s withdrawal from the 35th America’s Cup is another demonstration of how tough the game is.

When announcing this today, the Hamilton Island Yacht Club said: 'The Challenge was initiated with a view to negotiating a format for the 35th America’s Cup that was affordable and put the emphasis back on sailing skills.

'Ultimately our estimate of the costs of competing were well beyond our initial expectation and our ability to make the formula of our investment and other commercial support add up.'

Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton says: 'It’s a shame to lose the Australians. They won the Cup in 1983 which opened the door to the first New Zealand challenge in 1987.'

Dalton said Emirates Team New Zealand is on track. 'We have the class rule and the design team is well into its programme; the sailing team continues to compete successfully overseas, with great recent results by Dean Barker and Glenn Ashby in the A class cats worlds and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke still dominating the 49er scene.

'In addition, we have never been in better shape with potential sponsors.'