25 Apr 2009

America's Cup rivals agree on some race conditions

10:43 am on 25 April 2009

The next America's Cup challenge will be in 90-foot multihull yachts but how many syndicates will be taking part is still to be determined.

At a meeting in Geneva on Thursday Swiss defenders Alinghi accepted the right of challengers of record BMW Oracle to be the sole challenger for the next cup.

Both parties say they want the next cup to be a multi-challenge regatta, but given Alinghi and Oracle are the only two syndicates with multi-hull programmes in place, there is a chance it will be a head-to-head challenge.

The pair are still divided over when the duel should take place. The American challenger says the court ruling puts the clash into February of next year, but the Swiss say it could be later in the year.

Alinghi is backed by biotechnology billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli whose syndicate was created in landlocked Switzerland in 2000.

The team went on to win the 31st America's Cup in Auckland for the first time with a 5-0 win over Team New Zealand in 2003.

They successfully defended their Auld Mug trophy four years later in Valencia, Spain with another victory over Team New Zealand.