Judge rules on America's Cup challenge

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The Independent Online

The next America's Cup was effectively pushed back until May 2009 yesterday when New York Supreme Court Judge Herman Cahn ruled that the Swiss defender, Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi, must meet the challenge from San Francisco-based Larry Ellison's BMW Oracle in 10 months.

But, because the 1887 rules of the event say that racing in the northern hemisphere can only be staged between May and October, that adds two months to the time for Alinghi to build its boat in Villeneuve, Switzerland.

Ellison had hoped that the judge would order the event to be held in October this year and last night was considering whether it could appeal the date decision.

Alinghi, which had been pushing for the later date, must give Oracle six months' notice of the venue for what is expected to be a best of three races between 90-foot multihulls.

Front runner is the current home of the 157-year old trophy, Valencia, Spain. Both teams have said they then hope to return to a multi-challenge event in more conventional, 90-foot monohulls in 2011.

Britain has already challenged through the Origin team headed by Sir Keith Mills.