Team New Zealand could be forced out of a vital America's Cup tune-up event, after reportedly missing the payment deadline to enter December's World Series regatta.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Challenger of Record Luna Rossa haven't received the payment of US$300,000 (NZ$435,000) that Team New Zealand claim they made on Tuesday - deadline day for entry fees.
The reports says late payment may not be accepted, as the three challengers, who have all paid their entry fee, may deny the defenders valuable match-racing time in their preparation for the Cup defence in March.
The event will be held on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour from December 17-19 and provides the first chance for all four syndicates to test themselves against their rivals.
Team New Zealand are set to launch their second-generation AC75 on Thursday - the last of teams to do so - giving the challengers a distinct advantage, if the holders are denied entry to the December regatta.
The Christmas Cup one-day event, set for December 20, could be Team New Zealand's one and only chance to size up the challengers.