America's Cup great Dennis Conner predicts a “wonderful” regatta in Auckland sailed in foiling 60-foot sloops with no involvement from Larry Ellison and Sir Russell Coutts, but the United States being represented by another billionaire.
Conner, a four-time winner of the Auld Mug, dedicated his latest yachting podcast to wrapping up Team New Zealand's recent win in Bermuda and looking at what the 2021 format would bring.
“I love Auckland, I love the people there, it just could not be nicer … if you love sailing, it's ideal. Everyone has a boat and lives on or near the water. The Cup is going to have a wonderful new home there,” Conner said, adding he planned to attend.
As Team New Zealand and Italian Challenger of Record Luna Rossa work through their plans for the boat, the rules and racing format, Conner was quick to reveal what he has been picking up in whispers.
“I'm hearing rumours about a sloop, maybe in the 60-foot range that could foil. We know if it's light enough and well designed, it could foil,” he said, suggesting a crew of 14 on a boat that could sail at around 18 knots into the wind and low-30s downwind.
“It will be a creative boat, you know that. There is no one more creative than they [Team New Zealand] are. They will think outside the box.”
Continue reading at Stuff to see what Dennis thinks about Coutts, Ellison and Ashby, and the chances of a challenge by another American Billionaire.