Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton says he is "cautiously optimistic" about America's Cup sponsors staying aboard - but a New Zealand Volvo Ocean Race campaign looks less likely.

Dalton, recently returned from Europe and visiting all the team's overseas sponsors, said: "Cautiously optimistic is the word. The trip was about wrapping up the past and talking about the future - and everyone seems happy about the Cup itself, as opposed to the Louis Vuitton, which was seen as a stuff-up."

The paucity of challengers at the last America's Cup and the fatal accident involving Artemis meant the Louis Vuitton - usually a fascinating contest between challengers to find the team to take on the America's Cup holders - was a fizzer. It involved one-boat races, often no racing at all and, when it did take place, the contests were usually limp, with large distances between the boats.

"I didn't sense any fall-out," says Dalton of the possibility of America's Cup funding continuing.


"We need more detail [on what is happening with the next America's Cup so costs can be figured and sponsors know what they are in for] but I thought the reception was good."

However, Dalton says a family of sponsors, invaluable though they are, will still not be enough for another campaign for Emirates Team NZ: "It will also take the Government coming on board and we are working on our business case to them right now."

However, the possibility of Team NZ competing in another Volvo seems to be receding. Camper, the Team NZ entry, finished second overall in the last race two years ago but Dalton says: "I was also looking at [sponsorship of] the Volvo while I was overseas. My heart is still Volvo but I feel that, of the two projects, Volvo is the bigger challenge to fund.

"I am not sure we can fund it this time. I can get half the money but that's like being half-pregnant; you can't be half-pregnant."