30 Nov 2018

Eight new syndicates lodge entries for America's Cup

7:13 pm on 30 November 2018

Eight new syndicates have indicated they intend challenging for the America's Cup but only one can be accepted immediately.

America's Cup

America's Cup Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Three challengers have so far been confirmed - the Italian based Luna Rossa, the American syndicate New York Ross Club and INEOS Team UK.

The deadline for challengers closed at 5pm this evening and the Royal New Zealand Yacht squadron said in a statement eight new challengers had lodged entries for the 2021 event in Auckland but seven carried conditions while some are likely to be ruled invalid.

"We are really encouraged by the level of interest that has been shown from around the world by the number of notices of challenge that have been lodged by today's deadline," Emirates Team New Zealand chief executive Grant Dalton said.

"It has been a long time coming, but worthwhile to give potential teams every opportunity to enter what will be a huge global event for New Zealand.

"However, we must remain cautious and not jump to conclusions on the final number of teams. It is only when the acceptance process has been completed that we will know how many will compete in the Prada Cup alongside Luna Rossa, American Magic & INEOS Team UK," Dalton said.

Conditions of some of the challenges will require changes to the competition protocol which is dependent on agreement with the Challenger of Record before each new challenger's participation can be confirmed.

"We understand there will be questions around what a conditional challenge is," Dalton said.

"To give some context, an example is where we might have a challenge that is conditional on there being an America's Cup World Series event in that specific challenger's country. This, obviously, is something that cannot be determined today and also needs agreement with the Challenger of Record."

The Italian boat Luna Rossa in action.

Luna Rossa, New York Ross Club and INEOS Team UK have confirmed they'll challenge for the America's Cup in Auckland in 2021. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A maximum of five challengers can be accommodated on Wynyard Point with three double bases and two singles.

Should less than three of the late challenges be accepted, the Government and Auckland Council will then have the option of not proceeding with the Hobson Wharf extension for the 36th America's Cup, which would result in considerable cost savings.

"The planning of the America's Cup venue and infrastructure has been a detailed but fluid process and Emirates Team New Zealand and America's Cup Event Ltd have been highly conscious of infrastructure build costs while wanting to retain the ability to accommodate as many challengers as necessary by today's deadline," said Dalton.

"We want to act quickly with the Challenger of Record so we can definitively in form Council and Government on the total number of teams we need to accommodate or whether it is sensible not to extend Hobson Wharf in this current edition of the America's Cup, which could save a significant amount of infrastructure expense."

The official announcements of the new accepted challengers will be made at a later date after the completion of the conditional entries process and in accordance with each team's preference on the timings of their respective public announcements.