America's Cup hopefuls meet in Paris

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The Independent Online

With less than two weeks until the entry window opens for the next America’s Cup, 24 prospective teams met in Paris for the first of a planned series of competitor forums hosted by the newly-formed America’s Cup Race Management.

While it is expected that the eventual number of teams competing in 2013 will be a lot less, there was some surprise at the geographical spread, ACRM saying that the 45 representatives came from 13 different countries.

Britain’s Team Origin did not attend, its founder, Sir Keith Mills, having recently announced that he no longer intended to take part. But Mark Turner, the boss of the Isle of Wight Offshore Challenges had declared an interest in being there and, as well as some of the big, established teams, some attended with a long term view to doing the Cup following the one in 2013.

ACRM chief executive Iain Murray, accompanied by Event Authority chairman Richard Worth, outlined some of the plans for television coverage, starting with up to five regattas for 45-foot wing sail catamarans next year ahead of the introduction in 2012 of the new 72-foot wing sail catamarans in which the Cup will be contested.

The entry period, including a bond for $3m. and an entry fee of €1.5m., runs from 1 November to 31 March 2011. Some may delay until they know more, such as the choice of venue, which is due to be announced before the end of the year. Some may be forced to delay by a lack of funds.

“With the entry period fast approaching, we called the prospective teams together to share with them as much information as is available,” said Murray. The next meeting may be in Dubai next month, by which time some early entries may be known.