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Nelson Mail - 2021-11-26

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Dunphy’s stoush with Dalton takes a legal turn

Sport

Duncan Johnstone

Mark Dunphy, the businessman behind a bid to have the America’s Cup defended in Auckland, has served legal letters on Team New Zealand and its boss, Grant Dalton. This comes as Cork in Ireland ramps up its bid to host the 2024 regatta, while Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, and a multi-city Spanish bid are also on the table, along with a possibly ‘‘mystery’’ candidate, and Auckland’s ever-present status. A spokesman for Dunphy, the rich-lister who heads the Kiwi Home Defence campaign, confirmed to Stuff that Dunphy’s lawyers ‘‘have written to each of Team New Zealand and Mr Dalton requesting certain inaccurate statements be corrected and that apologies be given’’. Team New Zealand won’t be backing down in what has become a messy saga since Dunphy surfaced in late July with claims he could help finance a defence in Auckland after Team New Zealand turned down a government funding package. ‘‘Yes, Emirates Team New Zealand has been served with two legal letters directed at Grant Dalton in what in our opinion is an attempted act of intimidation,’’ Team New Zealand told Stuff. ‘‘While it creates unnecessary cost and distraction for the team, we welcome the opportunity to contest it and to further detail the evidence which lays bare his true intentions and highlights the conflicting behaviour of someone who is masquerading in public as simply wanting to help the ETNZ defence.’’ The battle between Dunphy and Dalton has been personal at times. Team New Zealand ruled out any further dealings with Dunphy in late September when they accused him of backroom dealings with some of their Cup rivals, describing them as ‘‘underhanded and deceitful attempts to undermine the RNZYS, ETNZ and the RYS with his (Dunphy’s) despicable actions’’. Dunphy, who is offering $40m of his own money, remains keen to reopen discussions with Team New Zealand and their backing club, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, over his vision.

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