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of the New Zealand Herald
Russell Coutts has hinted it is likely
a nationality clause will be reintroduced
for the next America s Cup.
Now the dust has settled on the 34th
Cup match in San Francisco this year,
discussions are well under way between
Oracle Racing and challenger of record
Team Australia, representing the
Hamilton Island Yacht Club, over what
shape the next event will take. It appears
there is a lot of support for stronger
nationality rules in the next event.
e nationality clause was abolished
following Team New Zealand s
successful Cup defence in 2000, which
paved the way for Coutts to link up
with Swiss syndicate Alinghi, headed
by billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli. e
move prompted a huge furore both in
New Zealand and in the international
sailing community, and since then
the nationality debate has remained
contentious in the sport.
In this year s event the only stipulation
was that the hulls of the boats had to
be constructed in the nation of the
challenging yacht club, but there was
no nationality restriction on sailors
involved. at is why Oracle, which
represents San Francisco s Golden Gate
Yacht Club and the United States, had
just one American --- Rome Kirby ---
in their 11-man crew that pulled off
a brilliant come from behind victory
over Team New Zealand in September,
while Swedish team Artemis had no
Swedes in their team.
e trend for teams to take a global
approach to talent recruitment has
lead to the prevailing recent view that
the America s Cup more resembles the
Formula One model: more about brand
identity and pushing technological
boundaries than national identity and a
But in an interview with Yachting
World magazine, Coutts said there was
strong support in the Cup community
for a nationality clause.
"Both the Challenger of Record and
us would like to see some form of
nationality rule for the sailing teams so
we re considering options there," Coutts
Team New Zealand will be one
of the teams pushing for a change,
with boss Grant Dalton having long
advocated for a nationality clause to be
reintroduced to the Cup. But with more
New Zealand sailors involved in the
34th event than any other country, the
move could put a lot of Kiwi sailors out
of jobs depending on the weighting of
local versus international talent allowed.
Coutts has also reiterated the need to
attract more teams to the next event,
but does not expect a flood of new
syndicates signing up.
"In many ways I think we are better
to aim at quality rather than quantity.
Right now, we have the four teams from
AC34 who appear to be active, plus the
Australian challenger of record. So it
seems likely we can expect a minimum
of five high quality teams.
"Hopefully that number can be
increased. For example, it would be
great to have a good team from one of
the Asian countries." --- APNZ
Shane Cameron s upcoming fight
against Brian Minto could break his
career, so to spend the weeks leading
up to Saturday s clash in the company
of the American has been, as he says,
As the headline bout for the Fight
for Life event at Waitakere s Trusts
Stadium, the promoters have sent the
pair and their trainers to most parts
of New Zealand in order to build the
hype. One of Sun Tsu s teachings in e
Art of War was to know your enemy,
but to many this would have been too
close for comfort.
"It s something that I haven t
experienced before, travelling with
my opponent," Cameron said. "We
try to keep everything as separate as
we can. We have to fly on the same
plane together; we have our dinner
on one table here and they have their
dinner on one table there and we get
in separate cars ... you get times when
you are standing there and Brian is
standing there as well and you end up
just having a chat anyway, just talking
about everyday stuff because you re both
"You do get to know one another just
slightly but I know when the first bell
comes there s going to be fireworks
Minto, a tough and experienced
38-year-old heavyweight from
Pennsylvania, was similarly relaxed
about the arrangement.
"We re not trying to intimidate each
other, it s business. As he said, once the
bell rings, that s when the action starts.
"We ve got a lot in common, both
being family men ... we re just trying to
be professional about it."
Cameron s manager Ken Reinsfield
added: " is fight doesn t need talking
up. Both these guys are professionals,
they don t need to talk trash to each
other. is fight doesn t need to be
hyped ... this will be a real scrap."
is is an important fight for
Cameron, his first for 12 months since
his disappointing defeat to Australian
Danny Green as a cruiser weight.
Victory would re-establish himself in
the heavyweight ranks; defeat would
leave his career in limbo.
Cameron said there were no mental
issues to contend with in terms of his
inactivity, but conceded he has come
a long way since beginning sparring
about eight weeks ago.
" e first two weeks were really rusty
for me, I took punches I shouldn t have
taken, but once I got the rust out I
started to find my groove again."
In terms of his future, he said: "I
need to take care of Minto first, if I
don t it s a big grinding halt to my
career. Beating someone like Minto,
he s certainly a well-known name in
the professional world ... he s a good
name to have on your record. My goal
is to get another shot at a world title
but that would be at heavyweight and
to fight and beat someone like Brian
Minto is one step closer to that."
Minto, who said he considered
himself a "spoiler", is being trained
in New Zealand by Kevin Barry,
who underlined his new charge s
awkwardness, saying it could create
difficulties for the 36-year-old
Cameron. --- APNZ
Ross Taylor last night demurred
at the suggestion he may be in the
prime batting form of his life.
In which case he is a tough
His 129 at the Basin Reserve
yesterday, following 217 not out
last week in the first test against the
West Indies, demonstrated he is in
a rich vein of form.
He anchored New Zealand s
307 for six at stumps, having been
sent in on a green top pitch. In the
process Taylor is chipping away at
milestones, one of which he might
quietly run past his mentor Martin
Crowe if they exchanged thoughts
Taylor has already scored 362
runs in the series, for once out,
overtaking Crowe s 387 in the 1987
rubber against the West Indies.
Only Glenn Turner (672 runs) and
Bevan Congdon (531) are ahead
of him, and their runs came in the
run-soaked five-test 1972 tour of
It may be a small point, but
they all count as Taylor sets about
ensuring his most productive years
lie ahead. Not that the first part of
his career has been ordinary.
"I think I m in the best mindset
that I ve ever been. Best form? No,
there s been under 19 and under 19
tournaments I ve been pretty good
at," he quipped.
ere s no one point which has
moved him up a gear.
"It s a combination of things. I m
always working at my game, talking
to different individuals both in
the setup and out of it. ey ve all
contributed in some way --- some
big, some small --- to help me get
to where I m at. It s probably a little
cliched saying play in the now but
it s working for me at the moment."
Taylor had his luck yesterday,
dropped before he had scored,
and again at 122 and 125, but in
between he looked in fine touch,
and paced himself nicely.
"I just try to keep the same tempo
the whole time. At the start of the
day I felt a little bit like Dunedin.
But after 20-30 balls, I got to where
I wanted to be."
He did not feel particularly good
yesterday either. "It was more
fatigue than anything. When I got
to about 110, I got very tired very
quickly. I had a very small lunch
and I didn t have anything at tea. I
felt okay but probably didn t have
enough fuel in the tank."
Having parents Neil and Ann,
who live in Masterton, in the crowd
had him chuffed. " ey always
come over the Rimutaka hills and I
haven t scored one here for a while
(since India, 2009), so it s nice to
give them a hundred. It s nice when
the boss gives them time off and it s
for a good reason."
Taylor admitted he does check
averages and other statistical data,
but put that in perspective. "I m
not sure whether (two-year-old
daughter) Mackenzie will care
whether I average 46 or 42. I think
they are things to look back on after
you ve finished. You can average
whatever you do now but it s what
you end up with when you pull up
In which case, if you combine
form, accumulated batting know-
ledge, experience and desire, Taylor,
at 29, could be set for several
Rain delayed today s match but
at press the score was 412 for nine
with B J Watling and Trent Boult
batting. --- APNZ
Coutts hints at nationality clause for next cup
Cameron gets close and personal
PICTURE: Getty Images
Black Cap Ross Taylor attempts to make his ground for a single run
while on 99 in yesterday s innings against the West Indies at the Basin
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