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America's Cup: Fifth Challenger confirmed by RNZYS

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World NZ 6 Dec 2018 23:04 PST 7 December 2018
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron © RNZYS

The America's Cup Defender, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has advised that they have accepted a fifth Challenge for the 36th America's Cup.

This latest Challenge takes the fleet up to the same size as that which contested the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda.

It has not been revealed which club or country the latest Challenge will be from. Those said to be in the mix include an Asian Challenge, a US Challenge said to be backed by the Long Beach Yacht Club. Nothing has been heard of a Dutch Challenge which surfaced in the sailing media a week ago.

Emirates Team New Zealand told the Auckland Council's Governing Body yesterday that they had been dealing with six teams for some time implying that two came out of left field. They added that all the teams are from well-respected yacht clubs and a lot of work had gone into the Challenge preparation. Royal New Zealand yacht Squadron received all the eight new Notice of Challenge on the final day for lodgement, with three coming in the final five minutes before 5.00pm on November 2018. Entries had been for 11 months since January 1, 2018.

As Defender, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron does not have the right to cherry-pick Challenges and must accept all that comply with the Protocol as it currently stands (unconditional Challenges) or with an Amended Protocol - with any changes being negotiated with the Challenger of Record, Circolo della Vela Sicilia.

Most of the issues with the conditional Challenges are expected to be resolved one way or the other, by the end of next week, with the rest being completed by the end of December.

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