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Team NZ tries to regroup for 2007 Cup

As the sailing world prepares for the first 2007 America's Cup preliminary races, scheduled to begin this June in Newport, R.I., New Zealand hopes just to be able to be part of it.

But with costs to finance a serious bid spiraling above $100 million, finding sponsors has been difficult.

As Oracle's Dickson says they are moving ahead according to plan and Alinghi's Coutts reports that the Swiss have essentially finished raising the $124 million they expect to spend on the next Cup, Dalton and Team New Zealand can only dream of so far.

In between meetings at his office, Dalton hinted at some large sponsors that were either already on board or strongly considering it.

Some designers, like Nick Holroyd, have already begun work, financed by a bridge loan from the New Zealand government and committed to helping the team make it to Valencia.

"Unless we're here, Grant's got nothing to sell," Holroyd said.

For now, the boats are dry-docked in the shed next door and Dalton has set himself a deadline of March 31 to collect the necessary funding.   more...

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