Sailing: Rolex call time on Cork plan

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AN OFFER by the Royal Cork Yacht Club to host the Commodores' Cup in the year 2000 has been squashed by the refusal of the sponsor, Rolex, to move from Cowes and the Solent. "We think we could stage a first rate Commodores' Cup ahead of Ford Cork Week in early July and attract up to 15 teams," Royal Cork spokesman Donal McClement said.

But David Minords, of the organising Royal Ocean Racing Club, said the decision to stay on the south coast of England had been a joint one. "We took a back seat in this," he said. "If Rolex had wanted to move to Cork we could live with that, we would not throw a wobbly. Cork is a lovely place." But he said that any fundamental change in the format of the event would have to be agreed with the sponsors. "It was a very open discussion. The Royal Cork spoke direct to Rolex and we had no problem with that. To all intents and purposes, however, this proposal is a dead duck."

He was upbeat about the prospects for next year's Admiral's Cup and the need to attract more than the seven three-boat national teams which took part in 1997. "I think we will achieve our target of 10 to 12 overall," said Minords.