and this seems to be on track for FRA to find the necessary funding (last tip & shaft) :To be fair, JPN is by far the weakest franchise. At least FRA have an event and can build sponsorship on that.
JPN on the other hand were probably initially included in the hope softbank would be drawn in. But three years later and I can't say I see a 'team identity' around them. All the press is about how great Nathan the wind whisperer is... and now he's off to do the AC. It will be incredibly difficult to pull in money from here.
GER and ITA could field highly competive crews without the need for AC35 ringers.
Honestly though, I'd love team set up around a brand and just crewed with barbarians... I'd get sponsorship from Siemens and get all their value back from sailing through wind farms demonstrating the power of the wind... and for some irony with the sponsors name I'd only have female crew.
"As for the other teams - Australia, France, United States, Spain, New Zealand, Japan - they must find their own funding to support all or part of an annual operating budget which varies between 6 and 8 million dollars and no longer is or soon needs not to depend on subsidies from Larry Ellison. France are on the right track as confirmed by Bruno Dubois: "We have signed a partner who will be announced at the end of the month, both as a sponsor and investor in the team. We are also in the process of signing a sponsor to fully support the Saint-Tropez event and we are in discussions with others for the main sponsorship of the team. We are not entirely self-financed, today we are talking about half the budget, but we are quite happy and Russell (Coutts) is too."
Dubois can say nothing on the subject but the project should become part of a French challenge for the America's Cup based around, among others, Stéphane Kandler, Franck Cammas and Quentin Delapierre, the skipper of the French SailGP team. Hence the recent announcement of the end of Delapierre’s Olympic preparation in Nacra 17 with Manon Audinet, shortly preceded by an identical announcement from the team's newcomer, Kevin Peponnet - replacing the Englishman Leigh McMillan (who has returned to Ineos for the America's Cup) to trimming the wing - who had jusy just started an Olympic programme with Aloïse Retornaz in a mixed 470."