Reports suggest Emirates Team NZ could next race in the Volvo Round the World Race

According to news reports from New Zealand, Emirates Team NZ could quit the America’s Cup and race in the Volvo Round The World yacht race instead -ifthe America’s Cup court wrangling continues.

That would mean New Zealand’s yachting team turning back to the international race with which it has the longest ties – dating back to 1977, when Heath’s Condor competed in what was then the Whitbread.

Last week, the one-on-one ‘big boat’ challenge between holders Alinghi and BMW Oracle was set for February 2010. The venue has yet to be decided.

More vexing, however, is the possibility more court action under the Deed of Gift could nudge the America’s Cup away from its course towards the date most consider likely for a real, multi-challenger event in conventional monohulls – 2011.

That is the date Team New Zealand’s current funding runs out, pending re-negotiation. It is also the date of the start of the next Volvo yacht race – from Alicante.

Grant Dalton (Emirates Team NZ) commented: “We have to consider whether we are in the right event. We exist at this point as an America’s Cup team, not a Volvo team. But we are a New Zealand team and a brand which is so strong that we can’t allow it to fizzle out.”

To read the full article from the New Zealand Herald, click here .