Stars and Stripes Team USA have hit out against claims they will be withdrawing their challenger from the 36th America's Cup.
Reports released earlier this week indicated the entrant from the Long Beach Yacht Club, as well as DutchSail and Malta Altus, had decided to pull the plug on their campaigns due to funding issues.
However, Stars and Stripes made their intentions to contest for the Auld Mug in Auckland in 2021 clear in a statement released this afternoon.
"Long Beach Yacht Club's Challenge for the 36th America's Cup…has not withdrawn from the America's Cup and has no plans to do so," the statement read.
"LBYC leadership along with Stars and Stripes team leaders Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield have doubled down on their All-American challenge and will continue to push to the end."
The three challengers said to be having difficulty putting their campaigns together were all late entrants into the 2021 regatta. As a result they began their preparations month behind the four initial teams – Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa, INEOS Team UK and American Magic.
However, both DutchSail and Stars and Stripes have both revealed their campaigns are well underway.
Rather than pack it in, Stars and Stripes have in fact expanded their efforts to challenge for the oldest trophy in sports with structural changes made recently.
"The team has recruited additional top-flight America's Cup management, marketing and fundraising talent, including some from Dennis Conner's victorious Stars and Stripes 87 team, to join the team and its advisory board."
Stars and Stripes skipper Buckley said the team had redoubled their "commitment to the commitment."
Defending champion Team New Zealand also responded to the suggestions that they would be losing three challengers, confirming that was not the case and a funding deadline was unlikely to be a concern for teams at this point in time.
"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. The teams just need to be up to date by the time of the first race of the America's Cup World Series in 2020," a statement released on behalf of the team read.
"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."