Recent reports claim that changes to the format of the 34th America's Cup preliminary events are being considered

According to Independent Newspaper’s sailing correspondent Stuart Alexander, changes to the format of the America’s Cup preliminary events are being considered.

The America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) have already held up the announcement about which of the 14 challenges meet the qualification and financial requirements necessary, and we have seen timetables slip as a search continues for the venues to host the 2011-12 America’s Cup World Series.

ACEA has consistently said that it does not expect all 14 of the original hopefuls to make it into the world series. The Challenger of Record, the Rome-based Club Nautico di Roma and its Mascalzone Latino team, has already dropped out (read previous story here). One of the 14, believed to from Germany, was rejected by the scrutineers in San Francisco.

But, while the new Challenger of Record, the Royal Swedish Yacht Club’s Artemis and the New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s Emirates Team New Zealand, are seen as certain runners, only the Team China challenge has been looking viable.

Another Italian team claims to have paid its $200,000 initial performance bond and San Francisco has been talking up a team from South Korea. The Australian team has yet to be substantiated.

An announcement is expected around Wednesday 1 June, which will name the participating teams for this season. Iain Murray, CEO of ACEM, has already said that some of the penalties and forfeits over payment by the deadline of 31 March may have to be reviewed. Many believe the number may have dropped from 14 to six or seven.

Click here to read the full report.