As much as Team France would like to contest the next America's Cup, without a war chest to play with, it's unlikely they will be able to mount a challenge.

The French outfit lost its naming rights sponsor Groupama earlier this year and have been unable to find a replacement ahead of the December 31 deadline of late entries for the 2021 regatta in Auckland.

Skipper Franck Cammas told the Herald his team want to be competitive, and will give themselves until the beginning of December to work out if they will be able to do that or not.

"We are still in contact with prospects so we will communicate that, but for now we are not going on but we have one month to go or not to go and we want to work until the end of November for that.


"It's not completely dead, but we are not on the way yet."

[Dean Barker disappointed but not surprised by low number of challengers]

When the radical new AC75 design of foiling monohulls to be raced in the 2021 regatta was unveiled, Cup legend Dennis Conner said a team would need between NZ$145m-217m to be in the hunt to claim the Auld Mug.

Cammas said he believed launching a campaign for the 2021 Cup would cost as much as NZ$36m per year.

"I think it's €30,000 more than previous campaigns because the boat is new and it's bigger. I think the minimum for what we are looking is €20 million per year when we start the project.

"I think it's very exciting to start with a new concept like [the AC75], so it's a big challenge for everyone and I think the America's Cup is always good to have this kind of challenge. It's a technical challenge more than a sport challenge and it should stay like that. But we need to big budget to achieve this kind of challenge.

"It's always a compromise between the budget and the ambition in the technical concept. Here, the technical concept I think is the big ambition but from my side I think it's good to have this challenge, I'd prefer to have that than coming back in the old model."

Franck Cammas says Team France have until December to commit to a possible America's Cup challenge. Photo / Getty Images
Franck Cammas says Team France have until December to commit to a possible America's Cup challenge. Photo / Getty Images

Only three syndicates had submitted challenges by the first deadline on June 30 – Ben Ainslie's INEOS Team UK, New York Yacht Club's American Magic and the challenger of record Luna Rossa.


Ainslie's crew have been heavily backed by their new sponsor, with a war chest of NZ$217m to play with, while the other two challengers were also thought to have plenty of funding behind them.

A fourth challenger in the form of a second Italian syndicate was reported to be getting their entry in order, with Cammas' name appearing as a possible member of the team.

At this stage, the French sailor who won this year's Volvo Ocean race as part of DongFeng race Team was yet to be in contact with other syndicates. However, he wouldn't rule out joining another team if the French crew were unable to commit to their challenge.

"For now I don't know at all because I'm now focused on Team France and I never try to open the door to go with another team. For now the problem is if we have money to go, how can we do our best with the lack of time we have now compared with the other teams and I think the first goal is to link with a big team to try to be on time for the first race. This is more my concern now, then we will see what happens next year."