The San Diego Yacht Club, holder of the America's Cup, has received a challenge for the trophy from four yacht clubs in the Soviet Union.
In their letters of challenge received Wednesday, the Tallin, Leningrad, Odessa and Poti yacht clubs agreed to race in the traditional 12-meter yachts or in any class "mutually agreed upon by the participants."
"The Soviets have proven themselves tough competitors in Olympic yachting," said Tom Ehman, vice president and general manager of America's Cup XXVIII. "These are truly historic challenges."
The Yacht Club Tallin, which served as the yachting center in the 1980 Olympic Games, asked to be considered for the official status of Challenger of Record.
The move by the Soviet Union brings to 15 the number of yacht clubs that have challenged the San Diego club for its planned 1991 defense. Other challenging clubs are in Great Britain (3), Japan (3), Australia (2), France, Italy and Sweden.