A serious challenge from Australia? Not likely under the current Protocol,
which almost everyone sees as an outrageous attempt by Ernesto Bertarelli
(or Ernie Bertie as Sailing Anarchy forum posters are calling him) to
hijack the Cup and profit from it short term, and control it long term.

result so far of Alinghi’s self-dealing Protocol? An ugly mess.

Challenger of Record: the reign in Spain of an ugly stain on sailing

Desafio Espagnol, who happily signed the hateful Protocol, are widely
portrayed by their own media as puppets of Alinghi. One Spanish journalist
even asked, in the middle of the formal press conference announcing
the new Protocol, if Desafio had lowered their pantalones and taken
it up the arse (yes, he actually used the Spanish verb follar).