Cup format delayed but date on boat to be revealed

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The Independent Online

The rules governing the next America's Cup will now be published on 13 September, two weeks after the due day today, but will bring forward the announcement of the boats to be used and will name the year.

The defender, BMW Oracle, has chosen its base in Valencia to make the announcements, where CEO Russell Coutts will be joined by the official challenger, Italy's Mascalzone Latino, and its boss, Vincenzo Onorato.

The new class of boat is widely expected to be a multihull, which has been the subject of mush controversy, not all of it in favour.

The boss of the British challenge, Sir Keith Mills, has, at times, indicated dissatisfaction with a move to multihulls using wing sails. But there is a very strong and experienced aeronautical industry in the UK and other expertise is available worldwide.

What has been said is that. monohull or multihull, the new boat will be 22m (72ft) long. It has been increasingly expected that the date will be put back to 2014. Between then and now there will be a programme of six to eight regattas a year in which any challenger would be required to compete.

The official challenge period opens on 1 October, teams having to put up a bond of $3m and pay an entry fee of €1.5m. But those with a share in the existing World Sailing Teams Association, of which Team Origin is one, would be entitled to a €1m discount.

Origin is waiting to see the contents of the announcement and the protocol of rules governing the event before deciding whether to compete in what is likely to be the last of the WSTA events, sponsored by Louis Vuitton, in Dubai in November.

A switch to multihulls would make that event less relevant. The February event in Hong Kong has already been dropped.