Please select your home edition
Cyclops 2022 May LEADERBOARD

America's Cup - Auckland Council grapples with tough Cup options

by Richard Gladwell, on 5 Sep 2017
Emirates Team NZ finishes in front of a partially filled stadium - America's Cup Match - Bermuda 2017, creating a planning headache for Auckland Council. Richard Gladwell
The Auckland Council's Planning Committee met in an open session this morning to consider a number of options and updates on long term planning for the Auckland area.

The total spend over a 10 year period was estimated by Mayor Phil Goff on TV3's AM Breakfast Show as being between $700-$800million and $1.2billion(all NZD).

Running interference across the planning process undertaken to date is the potential hosting of the 2021 America's Cup, which according to Mayor Phil Goff will only be held in Auckland if Emirates Team NZ are happy with the planning and where bases will be located. OPEC will also be hosted in Auckland in 2021.

The options seemed to boil down to an extension of the Halsey Street wharf - which ran off the road where Emirates Team New Zealand base used to be located and north and west of the Viaduct Events Centre. Halsey Wharf didn't figure in the long term plan until 2032-2042 decade. One option is to bring that plan forward, however it was made very clear that while the America's Cup requirements could be catered for in the short term, a long term legacy use was a more important factor.

The Halsey Wharf location was described as not being a priority in the long term plan - but that option was complicated by the 'America's Cup debate'. A move by one Councillor to have Halsey Street Wharf extension ruled out of consideration was lost on a vote 6-13 with the majority wanting all options to be considered at this stage.

While TV news played up the Halsey Street wharf extension as an option, it runs counter to a reluctance by authorities to encroach into the harbour. Plus concerns were raised about increasing traffic in an area which is already congested. The increase would be significant with ten team bases in the location plus media traffic.

The second area that seems to be on the table is Captain Cook Wharf in the centre of the Port of Auckland, with that structure earmarked for a long term cruise ship terminal - necessary in a destination which is experiencing a doubling of cruise traffic every ten years. Last year 104 cruise ships visited Auckland, with four coming in on one day.

Captain Cook Wharf could also be an interim solution for teams with the expectation that teams would be working out of Auckland from mid-2019. However it must be noted that if a multihull option is selected as the America's Cup Class then the teams could locate elsewhere in the Auckland region until October 2020, as the shallow draft multihull can be accommodated in variety of locations around Auckland, unlike a deep keeled monohull used until the 2010 America's Cups.

It appeared that Captain Cook Wharf could be extended to improve its use as a cruise ship terminal.

'Assuming that we want to hold onto the America's Cup those two objectives could clash,' noted one councillor. The Mayor Phil Goff backed up that comment saying the wharf couldn't be used for cruise ships and Cup bases.

Further it was noted that the America's Cup would be staged at the height of the cruise ship season.

For Captain Cook Wharf (currently a flat deck and ready to go for base construction) to be viable it would need to released quickly. 'Based on past experience that would be a challenge,' noted one Councillor.

Initial space requests, probably indicated by parties associated with Emirates Team NZ 30,000 sq metres of room for bases alone. That size was described as being 'a lot of room'.

By comparison the total footprint of the America's Cup bases and intervening water space in the Royal Dockyard in Bermuda was 2.5 time that size at 182,250 sq metres.

Calculations with the bases at Royal Dockyard in Bermuda - each base was using about 3500sq metres - meaning that the space requirements had been geared around ten teams.

Simple arithmetic and a quick play on Google Earth shows that the Captain Cook Wharf will yield about 16,800 sq metres of space - about half what is required for team bases and with no spectator or administrative/media centre space.

Justification for a legacy use for superyachts did not seem to find favour with the Council - contributing too little to the City economy to be viable for the premium space required. It was also noted that the fishing fleet was in decline in its use of the Halsey Wharf - where they had been moved after the development of the Viaduct Harbour, with the fleet working out of other ports on the east and west coast

The obvious location on Wynyard Wharf/Wynyard Point which had been pencilled in to become a public park on its northern end with further apartments built on the southern end. Positioned to the east of Westhaven marina Wynyard Point integrates well with Westhaven marina - enabling race management to be run out of clubs and buildings in the Westhaven area if required, reducing the footprint and costs.

Wynyard Point is the only option with sufficient space - around 85,000 sq metres that would enable a stadium, team bases and a media and broadcast centre.

Mayor Phil Goff commented that 'I've got opinions - I want to get rid of those bloody tanks' - a reference to the cluster of storage tanks on Wynyard Point/Park location, and that they would need to bring forward the date for their removal in the current Long Term Plans.

Mayor Goff also made it clear that decisions would have to be made against hard evidence and the options would have to be set out against a basis of hard evidence. He did not want to see options ruled out on the basis of opinion, which is why the majority of Councillors agreed to keep the Halsey Wharf extension option on the table for the time being.

When decisions had to be made the options would be stacked up one against the other Goff said.

The Mayor made the comment that he was against the Council 'funding yacht races', but by implication seemed more relaxed about the already heavily debt-laden Council spending on infrastructure.

The Mayor noted that 'funding is constrained'.

Earlier in the session one of the Auckland Council staff under questioning commented 'implementation work for bases would have to start quickly for bases to be ready by mid-2019 - which doesn't leave a lot of time to get infrastructure built.'

No mention was made of a permanent base for Emirates Team New Zealand in the current plans.

Flagstaff 2021AUG - Oceanis 40.1 - FOOTERBIA 2022 Marine Card FOOTERRooster 2020 - Impact BA - AUS FOOTER

Related Articles

Colligo Marine - Patented Line Terminators
The only spliceable, lashable, and pinable end fittings available Our Patented Line Terminator® End Fittings are the only spliceable, lashable, and pinable end fittings.
Posted on 8 Aug
America's Cup: First team ready to foil at venue
The first boat has already splashed in the just four months after the Barcelona venue was announced The first boat has already splashed in the coming America's Cup cycle - just four months after the venue was announced for Barcelona. Twice Cup champion Alinghi Red Bull Racing, was rolled out of the shed and christened in Barcelona.
Posted on 8 Aug
Alinghi Red Bull Racing launches in Barcelona
The first team to take up residence in Barcelona, home of the 37th America's Cup Alinghi Red Bull Racing launched BoatZero - a training AC75 bought in New Zealand - today, becoming the first team to take up residence in Barcelona, home of the 37th America's Cup.
Posted on 8 Aug
Young Aussies win Silver at 49er Junior Worlds
The emerging team finished just six points behind the defending champions Australian Sailing Squad athletes Jack Ferguson and Max Paul put together a stunning second half of the 49er Junior World Championships on Lake Como in Italy to take home a silver medal.
Posted on 8 Aug
49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 Junior Worlds
A total of 140 teams from 30 nations raced at Lago di Como The 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 fleets completed the biggest ever Junior World Championship for each of the classes. A total of 140 teams from 30 nations raced in the 2022 edition from Lago di Como, Italy.
Posted on 8 Aug
SSL Gold Cup - D2 Team AUS racing with Team GBR
On Day two of training, the two teams squared off for some practice racing On Day two of training, the two teams squared off for some practice racing. Watch the start, weather mark, and finish.
Posted on 8 Aug
America's Cup: Alinghi confirms Barcelona roll-out
Alinghi Red Bull Racing confirms almost ready to go in Barcelona - more action later this week? Via social media the Swiss America's Cup Challenger Alinghi Red Bull Racing have advised they are almost ready to launch their AC75, formerly Emirates Team NZ's Te Aihe, in Barcelona.
Posted on 8 Aug
50th Australian Hobie Cat Nationals preview
Over 90 boats are already entered with five months to go! The NSW Hobie Cat Association and the Vincentia Sailing Club, along with Hobie Asia Pacific have some very special news for you regarding the 50th Australian Hobie Cat Nationals.
Posted on 7 Aug
Spectacular setting for OK Dinghy Worlds opening
Two years after it was originally scheduled to take place in Marstrand Two years after it was originally scheduled to take place here, the OK Dinghy World Championship has finally been opened in Marstrand, Sweden, with 109 OK Dinghies completing equipment inspection and registration over the past three days.
Posted on 7 Aug
SSL Gold Cup - Team AUS training in Grandson
Team AUS commences training on beautiful Lake Neuchatel Team AUS commences training on beautiful (and breezy which has been a bot of a shock) Lake Neuchatel
Posted on 7 Aug