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America's Cup: Three teams respond to Kiwi media emission

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz 3 Apr 02:52 PDT 3 April 2019
Taylor Canfield hold the winners cheque for the 2018 Congressional Cup. Mike Buckley issecond from right © Bronny Daniels

Following claims by New Zealand TV channel 3News on its Tuesday evening prime time news bulletin that "half of the boats challenging for the America's Cup will not make it to the start line in 2021", two of the late Challenging teams have issued statements confirming they are definitely still in the 36th America's Cup. The Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand has also reacted.

The 3News item claimed they had reports from multiple sources.

However, they had not approached any of the teams directly.

The team from the Long Beach Yacht Club, Stars and Stripes Team USA was reported as "currently drafting a media release announcing its withdrawal".

24 hours later the Los Angeles based team issued a terse media release denying the claims.

"Long Beach Yacht Club’s Challenge for the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada, Stars + Stripes USA, has not withdrawn from the America’s Cup and has no plans to do so.

"In addition to continuing its preparations for AC36, the Stars + Stripes team is racing this week in the 55th Congressional Cup hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. Racing alongside team co-founder Taylor Canfield as part of his co-ed team will be Sally Barkow, George Peet, Jesse Fielding, Ben Bardwell, and Stars + Stripes team member Mike Buckley as tactician.

"LBYC leadership along with Stars + Stripes team leaders Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield have doubled down on their All-American challenge and will continue to push to the end. The team has made structural changes recently and Mike Buckley will be becoming the CEO of the team. In addition, the team has recruited additional top-flight America’s Cup management, marketing and fundraising talent, including some from Dennis Conner’s victorious Stars & Stripes 87 team, to join the team and its Advisory Board.

“The Stars + Stripes team and Long Beach Yacht Club have redoubled their commitment-to-the-commitment, as Dennis Conner was fond of saying, inspiring his Stars & Stripes 87 team to its victory down under,” said Mike Buckley, Skipper SSUSA.

“What Mike and Taylor have created has resonated with the American sailing population. We are seeing this first hand here within the community of Long Beach” said Camille Daniels, Commodore LBYC."

An hour or so after the 3News item was broadcast, Emirates Team New Zealand stated on their team web page.

Due to today’s speculation The Defender Emirates Team New Zealand can confirm no Challenger has withdrawn from the 36th America’s Cup.

The payment dates for entry fees are not time critical. The Arbitration Panel ruled that they are ineligible to race if entry fees remain unpaid but their validity as a challenger in the meantime is not affected. The teams just need to be up to date by the time of the first race of the America’s Cup World Series in 2020.

Emirates Team New Zealand has been, and remains fully supportive of encouraging the new teams into the 36th America’s Cup joining the already very well established and strong group of existing Challengers.

Sail-World also approached DutchSail, the America's Cup team who was in Auckland in mid-February.

The team had issued a media statement the day before (Monday morning NZT) saying that while they were under pressure as put together funding for the Challenge "the currents had gained momentum in the past days."

Having issued one media statement less than 24 hours previously, the team was not disposed to covering off the latest Kiwi media emission, but they did say: "We are not giving up. We are awaiting for our leads to get back to us and we feel unbelievably motivated to bring DutchSail to the next phase."

A spokesman for the Malta Altus Challenge was not in a position to be able to issue a statement, due to the absence of the team principal, in Russia following a family bereavement.

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