Team New Zealand have sunk reports that the three late challengers have withdrawn from the 2021 America's Cup, confirming no Challenger has pulled the plug on their campaign.
Speculation that DutchSail, Malta Altus and Stars and Stripes Team USA had decided to withdraw their challengers arose on Tuesday night, despite DutchSail expressing they were happy with where their challenge was placed earlier in the day.
However, all six challengers to Team New Zealand's title remain poised to participate in the 2021 regatta in Auckland.
"Emirates Team New Zealand has been, and remains fully supportive of encouraging the new teams into the 36th America's Cup joining the already very well established and strong group of existing Challengers," a statement released by Team New Zealand read.
Reports suggested the three late entries had decided not to go ahead with their challenges due to the cost involved with them. The trio were expected to come up with a 25 per cent instalment of their $US1m entry fee this week, with the balance to be paid by the end of the month.
Teams remain ineligible to race while their entry fees are unpaid, but with no racing until a World Series event in 2020, the teams have plenty of time to come up with the funds.
"The payment dates for entry fees are not time critical.
"The Arbitration Panel ruled that they are ineligible to race if entry fees remain unpaid but their validity as a challenger in the meantime is not affected."
DutchSail, the first ever challenger from the Netherlands, admitted they had ground to make up, but remained positive about what they would be able to achieve.
"We started in November with a backlog and we are working hard to make up lost ground," DutchSail general manager Eelco Blok said.
"We are facing killer deadlines, but as long as there are chances, we won't give up."
While Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa, Ineos Team UK and American Magic have been working on their campaigns since early last year, DutchSail, Stars and Stripes and Malta Altus began their campaigns months behind.
However, Stars and Stripes were believed to be well on track in their preparations to get a boat on the water as soon as possible. DutchSail skipper Simeon Tienpont has expressed his eagerness to put together his team and get the building process underway, and said: "We have to get down to work with the boat and the team; we cannot delay any longer. We need to take the water."
Teams are now allowed to launch their first full-scale race boat, however it was expected none of the sydnicates would be ready to do so until the middle of the year.
Malta Altus have been quiet in their progress and were thought to be the only syndicate under enormous pressure to get their challenge into gear.
DuthSail turned to crowd funding to help raise NZ$3.9 million in a bid to put together a competitive challenge. The team added a tab to their team website asking supporters to buy "certificates of support" at €100 (NZ$165) per month, for the 24 months leading in to the 36th America's Cup.
"It will be incredibly exciting to put together the funding," Blok said.