It seems that on the 23 January the fifth AC36 team – Stars+Stripes USA – failed to pay the entry fee of $300,000 for the first America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia.
According to the Official Notice posted by the Challenger of Record on the 27 January, only four of the five AC36 teams paid the required ACWS entry fee by the 23 January 2020.
The AC36 Protocol requires that all Competitors participate in all events of the ACWS.
But, it appears that Stars+Stripes USA – flying on a wing and a prayer – are hoping that the Decision of the Arbitration Panel regarding the late Challengers, gives them until the start of the first ACWS in Cagliari (23 April) to find the money.
In addition the Protocol also sets participation in the ACWS events as a requirement to starting in the 36th America’s Cup.
Thus the failure of Stars+Stripes USA to make the 23 April start time – they also do not yet have a functioning AC75 – seems to be an insurmountable step . . .
No payment means, no start in the Cagliari ACWS, means no start in the Challenger Selection Series and the Americ’s Cup in Auckland.
Or that is how it is at this moment in time. Can it change?
Of course it can, this is the America’s Cup, anything is possible.
The Defender and Challenger of Record can agree a change to the Protocol at the stroke of a pen, although why they would want to is more relevant.
Can Stars+Stripes USA convince the Defender and the Challenger of Record, that if excused at least the first two ACWS events, they can find the money and finish an AC75 in time for the the Auckland 2020 Christmas events, or even the Challenger Selection Series in 2021?
Well they apparently have or had at least three backers, although little has been heard from them. This would be a very good time to come out of the shadows and be counted.