Valencia optimistic of further regattas

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The Independent Online

Valencia has backed two pre-regattas for the America's Cup, the first in July this year, even though a decision on the future of the event is expected soon from the New York Court of Appeals.

The cup holder, Switzerland's Alinghi team, wants to go ahead regardless, but knows that the San Francisco-based BMW Oracle team could be granted a one-on-one match, probably in giant multihulls, by a panel of American judges which would cut out all other challenges, including Britain's Team Origin, skippered by Ben Ainslie.

If the decision goes against Alinghi the Valencia regattas, the second scheduled for October, will count for nothing. If Alinghi's legal case prevails they will count towards a second defence by the Swiss in 2010 in the Spanish Mediterranean city.

Although Alinghi and its event management organisation has lost the support of the Spanish national government, Valencia remains optimistic. "I think it is a great agreement, an agreement of hope, pride and excitement," said the mayor, Rita Barbera. "My will is to host the 33rd America's Cup."