One of Britain's foremost international sailing events, the Admiral's Cup, could be revived in 2011 if the results of a study to be carried out by the Royal Ocean Club are positive.
Chief executive Eddie Warden Owen will head a team to be financed by Skandia, the South Africa-owned, Southampton-based financial services group which also sponsors the Great Britain Olympic sailing team.
"We have considerable interest from all over the world, but we want to ensure that the Admiral's Cup meets the needs and expectations of all prospective competitors," said Warden Owen.
At one time the event, staged every two years in odd years, attracted up to 19 international, three-boat teams from all over the world but it declined in the late '90s and the last was in 2003, when it had been reduced to two boats and was contested by clubs rather than countries.
Warden Owen will also investigate whether the Fastnet Race, the 608-mile classic from Cowes and finishing in Plymouth which formed the climax of the event, and which had been dropped, will be restored to the programme.
This year is the 30th anniversary of the Fastnet which was hit by a storm and claimed the lives of 15 sailors. Already the entry list for this year has been closed at 300 boats and there a further 50 on the waiting list.