Only in the Americas Cup could a deadline fall due for a regatta, of record numbers, that might never be held.
Only in the Americas Cup could a multi-million dollar, 90-foot, cutting edge racing trimaran continue zipping around the ocean in training for a race that may never come.
Only in the Americas Cup could all this spell good news for the teams with solid and secure sponsorship deals, as America's Cup casualties continue to grow on the back of the global economic downturn.
Only in Americas Cup, an entry to the race does not actually means participating. Americas Cup has seen a great surge in popularity, with the record 16 entries. However some syndicates have been so affected by lack of funds that their arrival at the much less expensive warm up races is in doubt. There may be 20 boats in lining up for the race however considerably fewer may actually make it to the start at all. Only two teams could realistically be said to be strong chances to win - Alinghi and Team NZ, although new British syndicate Team Origin deserve respect.
Only in Americas Cup a syndicate,in this case BMW Oracle who have shunned the regatta putting their faith in winning their court case against Alinghi, can challenge (through courts) the holder to the win-all race, practically excluding the other 20 challengers. If BMW Oracle loses they are out of the 33rd Americas Cup. Bizarrely, they will also end up with a useless and extremely expensive trimaran of obscene proportions.
Depending on the court action and sponsorship, the challengers for the 33rd Americas Cup regatta which could be sailed in 2010 or 2011 are likely to be:
Argo Challenge (Italy)
Carbon Challenge (Belgium)
Desafio Espanol (Spain)
Emirates Team NZ
French Spirit (France)
K Challenge (France)
Joe Fly (Italy)
Green Comm (Italy)
Luna Rossa (Italy)
Mascalzone Latino (Italy)
Shosholoza (South Africa)
Team Germany (if sponsor found)
Victory Challenge (Sweden)
(BMW Oracle did not enter)
Source: NZ Herald