Team NZ in stoush with America's Cup organisers

Skipper Dean Barker has publicly criticised the event organisers for not living up to its promises.

Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker has lashed out at America's Cup organisers for lumping them with the cost of developing their own team base at San Francisco.

In his blog, Barker, who is in San Francisco preparing for an upcoming World Series event, says that with six months to go until the team relocates to San Francisco they had been told there would be a fully functioning base area.

"It is now going to be a concrete slab with absolutely nothing on it which will require us to secure cranes, jettys and all services required to function.

"We have never budgeted for this and to be dropped on us now is quite unbelievable," Barker says.

He says it is far from the success of the 2007 event in Valencia.

"Larry Ellison has done a lot for this America's Cup and has put a lot of his own financial resource into making the America's Cup next year a big event.

"However, I think in terms of a lot of decisions made along the way by different people here we are with only three challengers and now no base facility to operate out of," he says.

Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton says the event's organisers are contractually bound to provide a team base.

"As recently as the last regatta at San Francisco, event organisers promised to provide hospitality facilities.

"Teams have been planning their operations in San Francisco next year on the strength of these promises.

"To hear yesterday that those plans have been abandoned six months from when the teams would move to San Francisco is scandalous."

He says Team NZ and the Italian team, Luna Rossa, would be most adversely affected.

"Oracle, which has a permanent base on city limits, will not be adversely affected."

Wired recently reported Mr Ellison had been unable to interest US broadcasters in buying broadcast rights to the America's Cup, contributing to layoffs and cutbacks. The billionaire able to eventually acquire screen time on NBC, but only after shelling out millions to buy what was essentially an infocommerical block.

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