The number of likely challengers for the 2021 America’s Cup has risen to five, with at least several more possible. Team New Zealand has confirmed two of the eight late entries received by the deadline of November 30 are eligible for immediate acceptance. “For all the times I’ve been in the cup, I’ve never seen so many challenger teams trying to enter,” Team New Zealand’s chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge tells Auckland councillors.
Shoebridge says two confirmed teams were already meeting architects and builders about base construction in Auckland. They hoped to be set up for the summer of 2019-20. A final number of eligible challengers could be known by the end of December 2018.
The defender has not named the teams now eligible, which come on top of the announced challenges from Italy’s Prada, Britain’s Ineos Team UK, and American Magic. Team France has confirmed that following its 2017 campaign in Bermuda, it had not found enough funding to compete in Auckland.
As it stands, six teams, including the defender, can start in 2021, and the Cup Village as it is currently designed can accommodate eight.
Key America’s Cup dates:
✔ September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
✔ November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
✔ January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
✔ March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
✔ June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
✔ August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
✔ August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
✔ November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched
2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
During 2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series Preliminary Events
December 10-20, 2020: America’s Cup Christmas Race
January and February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match
Story by Scuttlebutt Sailing News