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America's Cup: Auckland base development cost now $250million

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz 4 Dec 01:07 PST 4 December 2018

On Thursday Auckland Council will consider providing a further $14.5 million to complete the infrastructure needed for the holding of the America’s Cup defence in 2021, says Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

An Extraordinary Meeting of Auckland Council's Governing Body has been called for 1.30pm on Thursday afternoon.

The NZ Government has approved the injection of a further $22.5 million, following higher than forecast costs for wave breaks and dredging work.

That contribution is dependent on the Auckland Council approving its injection of $14.5million.

Mayor Goff said the final costing includes a contingency of nearly $10 million against the risk of any unanticipated costs.

The financial injection brings the total cost of the project to $250million.

“Economic Development Minister David Parker and I are satisfied that costs have been pared back as much as possible while still ensuring the successful hosting of the America’s Cup,” Phil Goff said.

“The eight notices of Late Challenges on top of the three confirmed Challenges points to a likely full occupation of the team bases. Any competitors beyond the first six Challenges accepted, as signalled from the start, will have to make their own base arrangements,” the Mayor said.

“Construction is underway on Wynyard Point, and Emirates Team New Zealand is now in its base at the Events Centre. The Wynyard Edge Alliance responsible for building the village is satisfied with the progress being made with a very tight timeframe to complete the work. "

Hon. David Parker, Minister for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), said a detailed design and costing process for the Wynyard-Hobson infrastructure had been completed by Wynyard Alliance contractors as is standard for construction projects to finalise cost estimates against budgets.

In a written statement the Minister noted that it is possible that if the final number of challengers is five or less, then savings can be made by opting to base them all on Wynyard Wharf and dispensing with plans to extend Hobson Wharf.

That would require Luna Ross to move onto Wynyard Point. There are three double bases on Wynyard Point, which are all taken, and three single bases, of which Luna Rossa would take two, and leave one base for the final Challenger.

The maximum number of Challengers that can be accommodated in the space made available is seven - meaning only three of the eight late Challengers can be located within the current area available on Wynyard Point.

Space on Wynyard Point is allocated in the order of Challenges being accepted by the Defender Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Only one late challenge was made which was unconditional. Given who the club is and other information known about the Challenge it would seem to easily meet the criteria specified in the Protocol governing the 36th America's Cup.

No final date has been set for the number of accepted challengers to be announced. Indeed the names of the teams or the nations/clubs they represent are not known, and to date, the teams have chosen not to out themselves - a move which could work against them as planning decisions are made against tight timelines.

Sail-World expects to publish an exclusive interview with one of the late Challengers later this week.

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