Calls to bring forward choice of America’s Cup host

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The Independent Online

Attempts are being made to bring forward the selection of the host city for the next America’s Cup. Potential challengers were told the 2013 track would be named by the end of this year but this may now happen before the end of November.

Representatives of 24 potential challengers, many of whom will fall by the wayside, made it clear at a meeting in Paris on Friday that raising funds and support depended on having a fuller picture.

After leading a meeting held in a Place de la Republique only mildly disrupted by firecrackers, demonstrators and riot police, the chief executive of America’s Cup Race Management, Iain Murray, said: “Of course, they want to know everything now, especially the venues for the Cup and the America’s Cup World Series which leads up to it. It is frustrating for them, but it is frustrating for us, too.

“They want a complete story to take out to a market place which is not very strong. We hope to announce something in the next 30 days.”

The meeting, a prelude to regular competitor forums which will begin in Dubai next month, attracted many new faces from the worlds of multihull sailing – the next Cup will be in 72-foot wing sail catamarans – and the Olympics.

But they are all short of time for an entry window which opens on 1 November and a regatta programme which starts in late June or July next year. The need for major design funding is also paramount.

Murray will be based mainly in New Zealand this winter, with an office in Auckland, while the initial batch of up to 10America’s Cup little brothers is built 15 miles north of the city at Warkworth. The 45-foot wing cats will be shipped on May 1 to the site of the first regatta.

“We want to set things off on the right foot,” said Murray in London. “It’s important we put on a good show.”