National | America's Cup

Kiwis paid to stage the America’s Cup, not win it – Sir Ian Taylor

Māori innovator Sir Ian Taylor has worked with the America’s Cup for over 30 years, providing state-of-the-art graphics for the TV coverage of the prestigious yacht race and he supports Team New Zealand's controversial decision to move the next event from Auckland offshore to Barcelona.

"It's a great idea," he said on Te Ao Tapatahi.  "The most successful events we have run have always been overseas.The most successful one ever was held in Spain, in Valencia."

Last month, Team New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron announced the 2024 Cup will be held in Barcelona. During the pandemic, the team won the event in Auckland last year and rejected a $99 million bid from the New Zealand government and Auckland Council to retain the Cup in New Zealand. Critics felt disappointed and realised the decision was a business decision and not based on sentiment or loyalty.

But Taylor said New Zealand would still benefit even if the races were held offshore.

“There’s all of this discussion about New Zealand having paid to win the Cup, so it should be here. New Zealand has really only paid to stage it here.”

“Home advantage is great, if it could have been held here then we would have held it.  But let’s not forget that in 2003 we had home advantage and we got thrashed – underfunded, under-resourced and the risk was that it might happen again.”

He says the publicity for New Zealand Tourism will not suffer if the America’s Cup were defended elsewhere.

“Sitting in pole position will be a flying machine with Team New Zealand brand on it.”