WELLINGTON: America’s Cup organisers on Friday delayed a decision on where the next regatta will be staged, saying more time was needed to determine if it would again be held in Auckland or move abroad. Team New Zealand (TNZ) successfully defended yachting’s most prestigious trophy in March, defeating Italy’s Luna Rossa 7-3 in waters off New Zealand’s largest city. A decision on the venue for the next regatta in 2024 was due Friday but TNZ said it had been postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions in Auckland, which is battling a Delta variant outbreak. “Covid lockdown in New Zealand has made it impossible for TNZ team members to visit the venues,” it said. “It was originally planned to carry out essential face-to-face meetings and to provide final team feedback.” Despite its Kiwi roots, TNZ is a private syndicate with no obligation to stage the next regatta in Auckland. The New Zealand government made a bid worth US$70 million to keep it in the city that TNZ deemed insufficient, although the syndicate said it had not completely ruled out Auckland as a possibility. It said there had been three “compelling and professional” offshore bids that needed more time to be properly considered. Details have not been released but New Zealand media reported the contenders are Cork in Ireland, Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah and the Spanish city of Valencia.