Extreme Sailing Series 2015: Reigning champions Alinghi will not defend title

The team will instead 'assess other racing opportunities and learn about the latest sailing technology'

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The Independent Online

Swiss champions of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series, Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi team skippered by Morgan Larson, has announced that it will not take part in the 2015 programme, which is due to be announced later this month. Instead, the team will be taking some time “to assess other racing opportunities, learning about the latest sailing technology, as well as focusing its efforts on defending its Vulcain Trophy title.”

As Alinghi’s team now takes the time to decide which challenges are next, said a statement today, it would like to wish a fantastic season to OC Sport, which organizes the circuit, and to all of those teams racing in the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series. “Every year the championship has built upon its impressive foundations to deliver an ever-more exhilarating contest and this year will certainly be no different.”

The 2012 and 2013 champions, The Wave Muscat, skippered by Britain’s Leigh McMillan, part of Oman Sail, has said that it will remain on the circuit with two boats in 2015.

Also standing down is a putative entry into the America’s Cup by the home nation, Bermuda. At the end of last year, senior members of the defending San Francisco-based Oracle team, backed by computer software billionaire Larry Ellison, had twice said that it expected one or two more challengers to join the five declared for the event in 2017. But it is understood that the Japanese syndicate is not ready to progress, nor a team to represent Portugal.

Confirmation of funding for Team France has been delayed from the Paris Boat Show at the beginning of December. In New Zealand, Grant Dalton continues to put together a financial package, but without the government as a major funder.

Oracle is preparing to leave its San Francisco base and make Bermuda its home.