Stars and Stripes Team USA look increasingly unlikely to compete in the 2021 America's Cup in Auckland.
The US team, co-founded by Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield, failed to pay an entry fee in time to contest the opening America's Cup World Series (ACWS) regatta in Italy.
According to a Notice to Competitors dated last Monday , only four of the five teams - American Magic, INEOS Team UK, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rosa - had paid the entry fee of US$300,000 ($463,000) for the ACWS regatta in Cagliari, Sardinia.
Stars and Stripes Team USA are understood to have attracted three substantial sponsors, one of which is a major technology player who also has a relationship with Team New Zealand, Sail-World NZ reported.
With the Protocol for the 36th America's Cup stating that "each competitor shall be required to enter and participate in all events of the ACWS," Stars and Stripes, will no longer be eligible to participate in either the Christmas Race or the Challenger Selection Series, unless there is a rule change, and they can guarantee to have an AC75 in Auckland.
Unlike the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda, the ACWS regattas carry no points into the Challenger Selection Series, Prada Cup challenger series or the America's Cup in Auckland next year.
Should Stars and Stripes fail to cross the start line in the first ACWS event, however, their only hope would hinge on Team New Zealand and Luna Rosa agreeing to a Protocol change to allow the team to be exempted from participation in the first two events.
For the ACWS exemption to be granted, it's likely that Stars and Stripes would have to provide substantial undertakings and be ready to race in Auckland. They will also have to pay a further US$1million Entry Fee and US$1million Late Fee as well as post a refundable Performance Bond of US$1million.
Meanwhile, further details have emerged around the upcoming World Series regattas the first time fans will witness the new boats in racing action.