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Stars + Stripes eyes Team New Zealand’s boat, Te Aihe

Published on July 27th, 2020

Struggling United States syndicate Stars + Stripes may yet be able to sail either Team New Zealand’s boat Te Aihe or another challenger’s first boat in the Prada Cup challenger series. Whether they can do this will depend upon them getting a favorable ruling from the independent arbitration panel to whom they have applied.

Under the arbitration panel process all teams will given the opportunity to make submissions so the outcome could depend upon whether they convince fellow challengers from Italy, Great Britain and USA that they should be involved. Current rules say the boats hull must be built in a syndicate’s country of origin.

Stars + Stripes bought a design package from Team New Zealand to get involved but their boat remains half built as financial struggles plague the new syndicate that is out of the Long Beach Yacht Club in southern California. They have insisted their challenge remains alive and just last week released a teasing video.

Taylor Canfield and Mike Buckley are the forces behind Stars Stripes Team USA. Now, getting their hands on a completed boat appears to be their only option to be part of the 36th regatta. If they got a successful ruling at arbitration, there would be the possibility of approaching the other challengers about using one of their first generation boats, as well as Team New Zealand.

Team New Zealand will be eager to keep them involved but see it as an issue for the challengers to work through. With just heavyweights Luna Rossa, American Magic and INEOS Team UK confirmed as a small challenger fleet for the Prada Cup, the bases area of the revamped Auckland viaduct is looking short of tenants.

Team New Zealand won’t sail Te Aihe in the America’s Cup match in March. They are putting the final touches to their second boat that will be used for the defense of the Auld Mug. They would want Te Aihe available in case of damage to their second boat and a rental agreement could allow that.

It would be unlikely that Te Aihe would be competitive given the significant developments teams are looking to make with their second generation AC75s in this revolutionary new design. But getting the go-ahead could prove difficult with their challenging rivals hardly likely to agree to a late addition that would remain a threat to their own ambitions.



36th America’s Cup
In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and the Netherlands were also accepted. Here’s the list:

• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL)

• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) – WITHDRAW
• Stars + Stripes Team USA (USA)
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAW

Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, however, it is unclear what entry payments have been made, nor is there knowledge of a boat being actively built or sailing team assembled.

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 (DELAYED)
✔ 2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series events (CANCELLED)
✔ October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline (NOT KNOWN)
✔ February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched (DELAYED)
✔ April 23-26, 2020: First (1/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia (CANCELLED)
✔ June 4-7, 2020: Second (2/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Portsmouth, England (CANCELLED)
• December 17-20, 2020: Third (3/3) America’s Cup World Series event in Auckland, New Zealand
• January 15-February 22, 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
• March 6-15, 2021: The America’s Cup Match

Youth America’s Cup Competition
• February 18-23, 2021
• March 1-5, 2021
• March 8-12, 2021

AC75 launch dates:
September 6 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1


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