Team New Zealand have hit back at claims by former Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill that the victorious Team NZ crew used a "mysterious device" which aided them at the America's Cup two years ago.

Spithill may have been referring to a device Team NZ's skipper and wing trimmer Glenn Ashby used during the race. It was a hand-held device he called his "little x-box console" that controlled the shape of the wing.

Team NZ chief operating officer Kevin Shoebridge dismissed his rival's claims and said it was all "above the law".

"I think he's confusing a mysterious device with design innovation. That's all that was," he told Radio Sport.


"I think he related that to the x-box that Glen Ashby used to trim the sails with.
Well that was just one of the developments along the way on that boat and there were a few others. So no there was nothing mysterious at all. Completely above the law that's for sure."

Shoebridge also has confirmed Auckland is likely to stage a World Series event in the new AC 72 Cup boats in October next year following events planned for Cagliari in April, the UK in June and the US in August or September.

Meanwhile, Team New Zealand have conceded that not all three new syndicates may make the start line for the next America's Cup.

Shoebridge says although it is tough for new teams, all six challengers are still in the mix.

"At this stage all six challengers are still in play. No one has withdrawn. It's a fact that it's pretty tough and some of them are struggling," Shoebridge told Radio Sport.

"It's one of these things, we're not trying to force anyone out. We're trying to be completely supportive of these new teams. It's actually a really hard thing to do to start a team from scratch so they need all the help they can get."

Shoebridge said they also received some good news this morning from the Maltese, with previous reports that their historic challenge for the America's Cup was in danger of capitulating.

"Malta is now as of a few hours ago saying that they could be back in the game so we're hopeful that's the case.

"Stars and Stripes is going through another management restructure and a restructure of the team at the moment over at Long Beach but Long Beach Yacht Club is still fully behind the Stars and Stripes challenge.

"And then you've got the Dutch team with Simeon [Tienpont] up in Holland there who is still working full speed ahead trying to make the deadline.

"So there's other things at play that will come into this soon, which is at some point you've actually got to start building a boat to be able to sail in Cagliari in April next year."

Despite some worries about the three new challengers, Shoebridge said the three teams that have entered early are one of the strongest in recent years, also adding that Team NZ are in good shape.