Eight further America's Cup challengers have emerged for the 2021 event in Auckland.
Team New Zealand today confirmed that there had been eight "Notices of Challenge" recieved before today's official deadline, but that only one of the entries is capable of immediate acceptance.
The other seven carry conditions before being accepted, with some of the entries are likely to be found to be invalid during the vetting process
There are already three confirmed challengers - Italian syndicate Luna Rossa, American Magic, and INEOS TEAM UK - with the boats set to fight it out in the Prada Cup Challenger Series for the right to then take on Team New Zealand for the America's Cup.
"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 Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton.
"It has been a long time coming, but worthwhile to give potential teams every opportunity to enter. 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 entry for some of the challenges will require changes to the official America's Cup protocol, which is therefore dependant on agreement with the Challenger of Record - Luna Rossa - 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 Team New Zealand.
Team New Zealand have noted 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 less 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 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 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."
The official announcements of the new accepted challengers will be made at a later date after the completion of the conditional entries process.