Iain Percy aiming for semi-final place

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The Independent Online

Britain’s double Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy will be involved in a do or die battle to secure a place in the semi-final of the Louis Vuitton Trophy when he lines up with Sweden’s Artemis team against the Franco-German All4One off Dubai on Tuesday.

Even then, the America’s Cup challenger will be relying on Emirates Team New Zealand also to beat and eliminate All4One, skippered by quadruple, three gold one silver, Olympic medallist Jochen Schuemann.

Percy, who was to have been with Britain’s Team Origin until it pulled out of the America’s Cup, is acting as tactician to Cameron Appleton as Artemis team owner Torbjorn Tornqvist has gone home and the man designated as Cup helmsman, Terry Hutchinson, has just completed training on multihulls in Florida.

BMW Oracle, is assured of a place in the semi-finals, but the Russian team, Synergy, also needs to beat ETNZ and, even then, faces a complex three-way tie break with Italy’s Mascalzone Latino to avoid the drop.

On Wednesday there will be a day-long meeting of potential America’s Cup challengers, largely taken up by the commercial plans, being drawn up by event authority chief executive Richard Worth, and there will be a session led by race management boss Iain Murray.

The organisers say that a third challenger has entered, but wishes to remain anonymous. Artemis and Mascalzone, the challenger of record, are confirmed, but there could be 15 to 20 interested teams says an organiser. The entry window runs until 31 March.

A representative of San Francisco, the front runner to host the event in 2013, has also been in Dubai, but no venue announcement is likely and city administration procedures could take until the first week in December before a final decision is made.