Malta Altus Challenge has pulled out of the 2021 America's Cup in New Zealand.
On Friday, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron confirmed they'd received notice of the team's official withdrawl, leaving just six potential challengers for Team New Zealand.
The reasoning behind the decision remains unclear.
"This is a disappointing outcome." said Grant Dalton. "The Malta Altus Challenge had a strong foundation with some highly experienced and reputable America’s Cup personnel linked to the team.
"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 are wanting the Prada Cup to include as many teams as possible," said Laurent Esquier, CEO of the Challenger of Record.
"While we have done all we can to support the Malta Altus Challenge, they haven’t been able to bring together all the layers of complexity that are needed to continue with an America’s Cup challenge
The two remaining late challengers - Stars and Stripes USA and DutchSail – are expected to confirm their commitment by July 1.