American syndicate Stars + Stripes are reportedly hoping to use Team New Zealand’s first boat so it can compete in the Prada Cup challenger series.
In a stunning development, the struggling US team – who have run out of time and money to build their own AC75 – are seeking permission from America’s Cup independent arbitration panel to use a boat built in another country and take over Team NZ’s ‘Te Aihe’, Newshub reports.
However, Stars + Stripes will have to convince the panel and fellow challengers from Italy, Great Britain and America to receive an exemption to bend the rules, which forbid the use of a boat built in another country.
While Te Aihe is unlikely to be as competitive given the significant developments teams are making to their second-generation AC75s, America’s Cup historian Tom Ehman says an exemption would infuriate the other challengers and give Stars + Stripes vital insight into where they stand compared to the other three teams – Luna Rossa, American Magic and Ineos Team UK – without having to race them.
“This has never happened before,” Ehman told Newshub. “It’s outrageous.
“They’ll be as mad as hell … Challengers betraying other challengers.
“I’m calling them Stars & Stripes Team NZ.”