Ainslie set for America's Cup

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The Independent Online

Triple Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie will be back at the helm of a Britain's Origin team for the America's Cup in November this year.

An announcement is expected in Paris next Tuesday which will see another nine teams from France, Italy, the United States, New Zealand, Sweden and Russia lining up against Ainslie for a re-run of the Louis Vuitton series launched in Auckland in January this year.

A regatta in Nice will be followed by a second in Auckland next March with hopes of further regattas in 2010. The dates allow for the America's Cup clash between the Swiss holder, Alinghi, against BMW Oracle of America in Ras al Khaimah in February.

That is, if the latest legal moves in the United States do not stall Ernesto Bertarelli's plans. Oracle is due overnight to file further applications to Judge Shirley Kornreich of the New York Supreme Court complaining about measurement rules which make it almost impossible for Oracle's 90-foot multihull to comply, about the legality of the United Emirates venue, and even the failure of Alinghi's club, the Societe Nautique de Geneve, to fulfil its fiduciary role under the terms of the rules which govern the event.

Alinghi has other problems repairing its 90-foot catamaran, which suffered structural damage when trialling off its Mediterranean base in Genoa. Alinghi plays this down and says the boat has been out of the water for "routine maintenance".

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