Ashby keen to defend New Zealand

Glenn Ashby is keen to help Team New Zealand defend the America’s Cup Credits: Image: Getty – Video: Newshub

Emirates Team New Zealand skipper, Glenn Ashby has not confirmed whether or not he’ll be jumping ship to team-up with a potential Australian syndicate.

The 40-year-old spearheaded the New Zealand challenge in Bermuda, bouncing back from the horrors of San Francisco in 2013 to lift the Auld Mug with helmsmen Peter Burling.

Speaking at Friday’s protocol announcement for the 2021 America’s Cup in Auckland, the Australian admits that it is still unclear what his role will be, or who he will be representing.

“Nothing’s been locked in at this stage of the game, but for myself personally to be able to come over and take part in today has been fantastic,” Ashby said.

“We’ll see what the future brings over the next three months.”

With talk of potentially two-syndicates out of Australia, Ashby would be a welcome addition to any start-up challenge from his country of birth.

But defending the cup as part of Team New Zealand seems to be Ashby’s preference.

The Olympic Medallist is adamant that he’ll assume any role the team need him in, and that he’s not the only one with tough choices to make in the near future.

“For me, I will fit in with whatever the team, whatever team wants me to do at the end of the day and I’ve obviously got to make some decisions over the next little while, as do pretty much everyone around the world,” Ashby said

It may be early days, but the possibility of an Australian boat entering the America’s Cup has Ashby excited, he sees it as a way to continue to grow and improve the event.

“I’ve heard and read bits and pieces but to be honest, I’ve been a little bit out of the loop the last sort of couple of months but it would be really exciting if there was obviously an Australian entry,” Ashby said.

“And as Kevin Shoebridge alluded to earlier that we’re just trying to grow the whole program going forward and I think the idea for Emirates Team New Zealand is to try and keep growing the number of entries.

“Hopefully the protocol announcement today will enable those teams to be able to form and be on the table and numbers to grow which will improve the event.”

With the protocol setting the agenda for the 2021 defence of the Cup, eyes now turn to April, 2018 when Team New Zealand announce the design rules for the proposed 75-foot monohull boats.


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