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America's Cup: Challengers reduce to 14 teams + Video

'There are now 13 Challengers and one Defender for the 34th America’’s Cup'    Gilles Martin-Raget/Oracle Racing.com ©    Click Here to view large photo

34th America's Cup Regatta Director Iain Murray told Sail-World this morning that one of the teams that had lodged a Notice of Challenge with the Defender, Golden Gate Yacht Club had been declined.

When the entries were announced at the closing date at the end of March 2011, there were ten named teams, five teams who had asked their details be kept confidential, and two of those were listed as being subject to vetting by the Defender, Golden Gate Yacht Club.

The fifteen teams listed included Oracle Racing, the America's Cup Defender.

While Murray would not reveal the name or details of the team, it must be assumed that it did not comply with the requirements of the Protocol for the 34th America's Cup in some way.

Iain Murray, AC34 Regatta Director -  © Richard Gladwell?nid=83202   Click Here to view large photo
Later in the interview, Murray responded that he expected that there could be a late entry made, but would not say if it was on the Challenger or Defender side of the entry list.

Last Saturday, 30 April marked the date required under the Protocol for the posting of the first Performance Bond for an amount of USD200,000 which could be either by bank deposit or a documentary form payable on demand.

Murray confirmed that not all teams had met the deadline, but would not disclose if more than just one had missed or who the teams were.

He did say that the matter would now be passed to the International Jury to investigate and possibly hold a Hearing. It may well be that the teams had in fact complied with the required with the requirements of the Protocol, but due to Bank Holidays etc in various parts of the world the required instruments had not been fully processed.

Sail-World was told earlier in the week that in the past there had been substantial delays in processing payments, and that a slide of several days was not unusual if the payment was made close to the due date. It may well be that the issue has its roots in bank administration issues, and that there is nothing untoward.

However the matter is now for the International Jury to determine, and if an omission has occurred, then that is a matter for them to determine and penalise, if required.

A second Performance Bond of USD800,000 is required to be lodged by 31 December 2011.



The Media Trials are in their final day in Auckland, afterwards the five AC45's will be packed and sent to Europe along with new AC45's currently under construction in Auckland for other entered teams. Murray confirmed that they expected to have ten teams racing in the first AC45 event in Cascais, Portugal in July.




by Richard Gladwell

  

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12:14 AM Fri 6 May 2011 GMT






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