Sailing: America's Cup holders Team New Zealand to appeal course changes

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - America's Cup defenders Team New Zealand will appeal an independent arbitration panel decision that will limit fans' ability to watch next year's races from Auckland's waterfront.

The panel earlier this month effectively cancelled the use of two of the five proposed race courses, which were closest to Auckland's waterfront and allowed land-based spectators to watch the AC75 foiling monohulls compete.

TNZ said on Saturday they had tabled a proposal to all three challenging syndicates -- Italy's Luna Rossa, Britain's Team INEOS UK and American Magic from the United States -- which would allow the courses to be reinstated.

"That proposal made it clear that the defender would not sail in the area defined as Course B&C on the race days when the challengers couldn't race there to eliminate any extra sailing time or perceived advantage the defender might have," TNZ said.

"Luna Rossa, without specified reasoning have sadly rejected this proposal saying only that the defender's proposal is far from fair and is not acceptable.

"The defender will now refer the dispute to the Arbitration Panel requesting a formal mediation of the issue."

The independent panel said in its ruling that Auckland's Harbourmaster had deemed the two courses suitable only for races in the final of the Challenger Series and the America's Cup itself.

All three challenging syndicates argued that only courses available for the entirety of the regatta should be used.

The New Zealand Herald reported earlier this week that Auckland Mayor Phil Goff attempted to mediate a resolution and urged the syndicates "collectively to do whatever you can to resolve the issues which have led to this outcome".

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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