4 Apr 2009

America's Cup future still unclear

7:03 am on 4 April 2009

The future of sailing's America's Cup remains unclear despite the end of a long-running legal battle which has installed the Russell Coutts-led BMW Oracle as the only live challenger.

A New York court has declared invalid the regatta planned by cup holder Alinghi, saying that the Spanish yacht club set up as the challenger of record did not qualify.

This leaves BMW Oracle next in line to challenge the Swiss in a giant multi-hull early next year, but the Americans would still prefer to agree on new rules with Alinghi for a traditional Cup regatta.

Team New Zealand's Kevin Shoebridge says the ruling does not change their plans as the been prepared for a long wait before the next campaign.

But Shoebridge says the chances of the Swiss and Americans resolving their differences aren't great.

Team New Zealand this year will focus on a new European campaign in the MedCup series, and has shipped its new 52-foot boat to Spain for the first race in May.