America's Cup: Late challengers set to apply for 2021 regatta

Only three syndicates have confirmed they'll contest the 2021 America's Cup in Auckland, but yachting commentator Peter Lester believes up to six more teams could enter.

Late entries must be submitted with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) by 5pm Friday.

So far, Italian challenger of record Luna Rossa, Sir Ben Ainslie's INEOS Team UK and American Magic from the New York Yacht Club have confirmed their places.

"Things are looking great," Lester told the AM Show. "We have three entries in and late entries shut today, but I'm hearing up to six other expressions of interest.

"How many of those convert, we just have to wait and see how it plays out, but there will be more."

According to SailWorld.com, the six consist of two from the United States, two from Italy, and one each from Norway and China.

Additional reports suggest two Dutch yacht clubs based in Muiden and Rotterdam have been communicating with the RNZYS about competing.

Lester doesn’t expect any official announcements today, as the challengers must meet strict criteria to gain entry into the event.

Any Notice of Challenge needs to be carefully examined to meet requirements imposed by both the Deed of Gift and the 36th America’s Cup Protocol, before entries are accepted.

The official guidelines state, to be accepted, the challenge must be "an organised yacht club from a foreign country which conducts an annual regatta on an arm of the sea".

Also, a challenging yacht club must have existed for at least three years, have 200 members, be financially supported by its members on a pro-rata basis, actively promote yachting activities and be a member of the national sailing authority.

These criteria that are subject to due diligence.

Acceptance by Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron will be announced in conjunction with the challenger, depending on when they wish to make a public announcement.

They will need time to confirm and contract their team, and announce their challenge to win the oldest trophy in international sport.

Newshub.