America’s Cup problems continue

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The Independent Online

The decision by the pillars of San Francisco government to make a firm offer to stage the America’s Cup in 2013 has been met with a deafening silence from the defence syndicate that is based in the Californian city, BMW Oracle.

This despite the mayor and the governors of the city having met the deadline of 17 December set by the Golden Gate Yacht Club, the vehicle used by local computer software mogul Larry Ellison, backer of BMWOR.

Rival bids, in an unknown state of preparedness, from the east coast former home of the Cup, Newport Rhode Island, and the Rome base of the challenger of record, Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino, are apparently being considered by BMW Oracle, which still says it will name the venue by its own chosen deadline of 31 December.

Newport is the current favourite, but even a surprise Middle East choice is not inconceivable. Earlier this year, the previous host of the America’s Cup in 2007 and 2010, Valencia, Spain, was said to be the default choice if other bids did not meet all the criteria.

Amendments have been made to the entry criteria, which will ease the financial burdens on potential challengers, who, in theory, must sign up by 31 March, 2011. So far, three challengers have publicly declared their involvement, Mascalzone, Artemis of Sweden, and Aleph Equipe de France, with America’s Cup Event Management saying there is a fourth yet to be declared.

Both Team New Zealand and the Synergy syndicate of Russia are thought to be waiting for further clarity.