The Auckland yacht club that served as "challenger of record" for Team New Zealand's bid for the America's Cup says it is not likely to seek a new challenge if giant catamarans remain the craft of choice.
Reeling from today's defeat in the final race of the competition, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is waiting to see what's lined up for the next regatta, including location and boat type, to see whether it's worth mounting another challenge.
"We're concerned whether our pocket books will be big enough," squadron vice commodore Andy Anderson said.
"If the same boats are used it would be a tall order for New Zealand to step up to mount a competitive challenge, because the boats will be another generation."
AC72 wing-sail catamarans were used in this 34th regatta, with Aotearoa struggling to match Oracle in the second half of the series.
"It has a lot to do with sponsorship and government backing. We don't have someone with the net worth of (Oracle CEO) Larry Ellison," Anderson said.
The New Zealand Government invested more than $30 million in the bid for the Auld Mug, which was not enough, Anderson said.
"We know from other cups that $600 million-plus has arrived into the New Zealand economy in the duration of the cup races," he said.
"Everybody from New Zealand benefits. It needs much more support from the country."
But the squadron was proud of its sailors who put up a good fight, winning the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series, and the Red Bull Youth America's Cup challenge.
The real winner was the renewed interest in sailing from grass roots clubs to professional level, Anderson said.
"We have got to continue to train up younger people that we are able to put on our boats and on Oracle," he said.
"Kiwis are everywhere in the world of sailing."
- © Fairfax NZ News