LOG NEWS SERVICE — The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has confirmed it has accepted the Royal Malta Yacht Club challenge for the 36th America’s Cup – one of the eight challenges it had received by the Nov. 30 late entry deadline.
Malta Altus Challenge’s team principal is Pasquale Cataldi, an Italian businessman based in Malta and the founder and CEO of Altus, a multinational real state and development company. The sailing team, which will include Malta nationals and international sailors as allowed under the cup’s protocol, will be announced in early 2019.
As a late entry and with a restricted budget compared to the other challengers, Malta Altus Challenge is planning on a one-boat campaign and will look to Emirates Team New Zealand for inspiration, Cataldi said in a statement.
With a population of approximately 460,000 and a landmass of just 122 square miles Malta has become the smallest country to challenge for the America’s Cup. The previous smallest challenger was New Zealand.
The Malta Altus Challenge joins Challenger of Record Luna Rossa of Italy, the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic and INEOS Team UK in the group that will contend for the Prada Cup and the right to face Emirates Team New Zealand in the America’s Cup match.
Team France, meanwhile, has confirmed it won’t be contesting the America’s Cup in Auckland in 2021 because it has been unable to raise the funding to be competitive after losing its primary sponsor Groupama.
Franck Cammas’ French syndicate was the first to be eliminated at the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda and he said that he did not want to be in that position again.
The next America’s Cup will be contested in high-performance, foiling 75-foot monohulls after the previous two editions were sailed in foiling catamarans.
A report from The Associated Press was used in this story.