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French America's Cup team refused to help Team New Zealand | July 8,2017

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French America's Cup team refused to help Team New Zealand. The French turned their backs on Team New Zealand hours after the dramatic capsize, then tried to charge $468,500 for any help, before abruptly withdrawing the offer altogether, claims Team NZ's billionaire backer. In an exclusive interview with the Weekend Herald this week, Emirates Team New Zealand principal, Matteo de Nora revealed what he says was Groupama Team France's response to ETNZ's request for help after the pitch-pole that left the Kiwi boat in tatters moments before the start of race two in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series. Within two hours of Aotearoa being lifted out of the water, CEO Grant Dalton asked the French for equipment and spare parts to get the boat fixed in time for the next day's race. Team France had already been eliminated from the challenger semifinals and were therefore out of the America's Cup. De Nora says the French refused almost immediately. Then came a request for a payment of 300,000 Euros ($468,500) if the French were to consider helping. Before TNZ had time to consider the payment, and search for funding, the offer was abruptly withdrawn. De Nora wonders if Oracle heard about the deal and intervened. Neither Groupama nor Oracle responded to requests for comment. In hindsight, de Nora said, the rejection made Team New Zealand stronger. "After the French said 'no', the team was united. I can tell you the secretaries were using hair dryers to dry the boat, the cooks, security, everybody was working round the clock." The more people who turned up to help, the stronger the determination became. "It was incredible," de Nora said. "That to me was the highlight. It was that moment I thought 'we have a chance after all'." The British lent Team New Zealand a hydraulic ram but other than that they were on their own. In the end it was Kiwi ingenuity, all-night hard graft and a never-give-up attitude that would get the job done. About 80,000 people watched the America's Cup parade through central Auckland on Thursday.The parade, including the clean-up afterwards, cost about $400,000, which would be split between Auckland Council, Government and the private sector. A second parade is in Wellington on Tuesday before the Cup is housed in a high-security cabinet at the Royal New Zealand.

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