Malta has announced today that they have withdrawn from the next America's Cup regatta in 2021 in Auckland.
Malta Altus' withdrawal means there is only six competitors left, with syndicates from Britain, Netherlands, Italy, two from the United States and defending champions Team New Zealand vying for the America's Cup trophy.
Team NZ chief-executive Grant Dalton said in a statement this afternoon that he is gutted about Malta's withdrawal.
"This is a disappointing outcome," said Dalton.
"The Malta Altus Challenge had a strong foundation with some highly experienced and reputable America's Cup personnel linked to the team.
"So, for them to pull out is not just a shame for the event but also for those people that have worked so hard trying to get this challenge to the start line.
"We hope they will continue to build on their foundation over the next 18 months with a view to the future and challenging for the 37th America's Cup."
Team New Zealand won the America's Cup against team USA's Oracle in Bermuda in 2017 in foiling catamarans.
The next regatta in Auckland 2021 will be raced in AC75 class foiling mono-hull yachts.