America's Cup 2017: San Diego set to lose out to Bermuda in race to stage sailings blue riband event

The decision will be formally announced in New York on 2 December

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The Independent Online

Confident claims from the West Coast of the United States say that San Diego has lost the race with Bermuda to stage the 35th America’s Cup in 2017. The decision is to be announced formally in New York on 2 December after an extended competition between the two to take over from San Francisco, which hosted AC34 in 2013.

Britain’s Sir Ben Ainslie, due on Tuesday to announce two warm-up regattas hosted by his British challenge in its home port of Portsmouth, had expressed a preference for California, but is now part of a so-far five team challenger committee which is also looking at a fuller programme of warm-up regattas to be staged in a single deign of 45-foot wing-powered catamarans using foils to skim over the water. 

Tax conditions in the tax haven which is Bermuda are thought to have swung it for the Atlantic financial and tourist destination. It would be the first time that the United States has voluntarily exported a sporting trophy it first won in 1851.

Responding to reports that Bermuda had won, Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton said the team had not been told of a decision. “We have been invited to a press conference to be held at New York on December 2 when the announcement will be made. Until then it is only media speculation,” he said.

“We have developed business cases for both venues and have been in communication with potential sponsors and supporters. We have been encouraged by the positive reception we have had,” he added, knowing that both the New Zealand government and principal sponsor Emirates Airlines both preferred the California option.

“The team awaits the official announcement and will then assess the situation and closely examine the funding model.”

The first Brit home in the singlehanded Route du Rhum race from St Malo to Guadeloupe was Miranda Merron, seventh in the Class 40 after 18 days and ahead of her partner Halvard Mabire. The second Brit to cross the line in Point à Pitre is expected to be the 75-year old Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, lying fourth in the Rhum Class on his 60-foot Grey Power, the oldest competitor in the quadrennial race.  

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