18 Challengers Meet Deadline
Seven new syndicates added their late fee of US$200,000 by 5 pm yesterday. A record 18 Challengers have entered for the 2000 America's Cup, the biggest number in America's Cup history. A challenger, will have to get through an estimated 80 races to race Team New Zealand. "To be better than the other 18 is going to be tough, but that's half the fun" Sir Peter said. Dennis Conner will be back to sail his eighth America's Cup - at 5 pm yesterday he announced his entry for the 2000 regatta in Auckland New Zealand. He will sail under the burgee of the Cortez Racing Association. This is a San Diego Club. It appears it does not have a club house. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron drew up a special clause in the race protocol outlining what a challenging yacht club had to be. The Cortez club may fit in as it raced 25 races last year.
Housing 19 syndicates - including the defenders may require some alterations to the AucklandViaduct Village plans. The original plans allowed for 11 sites, how ever some syndicates have hinted they are looking to be based elsewhere.
The Canadians have missed the deadline by a matter of hours. At 3 pm NZ time the commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, John Heise took a phone call from the disappointed Canadians as they had failed to raise enough money.
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