Team New Zealand's hopes of having a boat in this year's around the world race remain afloat with a deal being brokered with a Spanish partner.
European media have speculated that Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton's fund-raising venture there over the past three week's has netted a deal with Spain's Pedro Campos, another veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Dalton suggested the reports were more speculative than reality but confirmed there had been significant progress.
He said there was still some way to go to raise the $30m required to be competitive.
The race starts in Alicante in Spain in October and includes a stopover in Auckland in March.
Dalton believes that with government and Auckland money involved in the race, it's important to have a New Zealand entry.
He said he was dealing with a yachting organisation that has a track record in Spain.
Campos campaigned Telefonica in the last Volvo race, finishing fourth. Team New Zealand finished second behind French entry Groupama.
Team New Zealand contested the last race with huge sponsorship from Spanish shoe giant Camper.
Dalton suggested the new arrangements would be different.
European media are suggesting large Spanish insurance company MAPFRE are coming to the party.
They sponsor tennis great Rafael Nadal and have a history of sponsoring sailing in Spain.
Dalton believed Australian Chris Nicholson would again be the sailor to skipper the New Zealand entry.
Team New Zealand are looking at a May deadline to confirm their involvement.
The next edition of the 11 ports, 38,739 nautical miles odyssey is a one-design race and there are spare boats available.
Five entries have already been confirmed.
Team New Zealand remains working on involvement in the next America's Cup but are waiting for the protocol to be released by holders Oracle and Challenger of Record Hamilton Island Yacht Club (Australia).
- © Fairfax NZ News