America's Cup: Team New Zealand confirmed for America’s Cup Christmas regatta

Team New Zealand have been confirmed for the America's Cup Christmas regatta in Auckland next month.

The cupholders’ participation in the event was in doubt, after they reportedly missed a $435,000 entry fee payment. Team New Zealand denied the claims last week and have duly been confirmed in the world series regatta. 

They will line up against Italy's Luna Rossa for the opening race in a schedule confirmed on Friday.

The event will take place over four days from December 17-20, consisting of a match-racing format on the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf.

Racing is scheduled between 3-6pm daily - weather permitting - with this being the only chance for Team NZ to take on the three challengers, before defending the Auld Mug in March. 

Each side will race twice a day and take on their rivals twice each over three days, before semi-finals and finals on the final day. 

Team NZ will face Luna Rossa and American Magic on day one and day three, and INEOS Team UK twice on the second day. 

World Series

December 17: Team NZ v Luna Rossa, American Magic v INEOS Team UK, INEOS Team UK v Luna Rossa, American Magic v Team NZ.

December 18: Luna Rossa v American Magic, Team NZ v INEOS Team UK, American Magic v Luna Rossa, INEOS Team UK v Team NZ.

December 19: Luna Rossa v INEOS Team UK, Team NZ v American Magic, INEOS Team UK v American Magic, Luna Rossa v Team NZ.

Christmas race (all on December 20)

Semi-final 1: 1st-placed qualifiers v 4th-placed qualifiers

Semi-final 2: 2nd-placed qualifiers v 3rd-placed qualifiers

Third-placed playoff: Losers Race 1 v Losers Race 2

Final: Winners Race 1 v Winners Race 2