The period for late entries for the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada officially closed on 30 November, and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand can confirm there were an additional eight Notices of Challenge received by the 5 pm (NZT) deadline.
According to the supporting entry documents, only one of these entries is capable of immediate acceptance while the remaining seven notices of challenge carry conditions. Some of the entries are likely to be invalid, something which will be determined through a vetting process which will begin immediately.
“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,” said Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, Grant Dalton.
The entry period for Challengers was January 1 to June 30 with an entry fee of USD 2 million. A deadline for late entries of November 30 required an additional USD 1 million.
“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,” noted Dalton. “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.”
Conditions of some of the challenges will require changes to the Protocol, which is therefore 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,” explained Dalton.
“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 process of assessing the entries and conditions of the eight new challengers will begin immediately with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand. Emirates Team New Zealand is acutely conscious of the need to advise Auckland Council and the Government on the base infrastructure footprint requirement which has an impact on overall costs.
The Government and Council have been advised that a maximum of five challengers can be accommodated on Wynyard Point with three double bases and two singles. Should fewer than three of the late challenges be accepted, the Government and 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 inform 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.”
“We are really proud to have this many teams submit entries for the 36th America’s Cup event which is a true reflection on the belief and excitement of the new AC75 boat concept and the ideal host venue for racing in 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand,” concluded Dalton.
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.
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
(Rampant rumours on who are the eight teams include efforts from The Netherlands and USA, but one team definitely not going forward is Team France.)