Thursday, April 22, 2010

Coutts promises news on 34th America's Cup

AFP)VALENCIA, Spain — Announcements regarding the next America's Cup will be made in May but neither the date nor the location have yet been decided, New Zealand skipper Russell Coutts of defending champions Oracle said Thursday.

"We have had several consultations for the 34th edition, namely over the design of the boats and we are very close to making a public announcement over the Cup next month," he told AFP.

"It will be in 2013 or 2014. As for the location, everything is still open. San Francisco is appealing, but other sites in the United States and elsewhere in the world are as well," he added.

Coutts was chief executive of the San Francisco-based Oracle syndicate that won the 33rd America?s Cup in February. It beat Swiss champion Alinghi off the Spanish port of Valencia, returning sports? oldest trophy to the United States.

As Oracle is based in San Francisco, there has been much speculation that the 34th America's Cup will be held in the city on the US west coast in 2013.

Coutts said that several "concepts" for the next edition will be examined with all the potential challengers, which include two possible French teams headed by Stephane Kandler and Marc Pajot.

The announcements regarding the next Cup will be made in Europe next month together with the "challenger of record" who establishes the rules for the race along with the defender, in this case Italy's Mascalzone Latino.

Coutts, 48, reiterated that he has not yet decided if he would participate in Oracle's campaign for the 34th America's Cup.

Shortly after Oracle won the Cup in February, he told AFP that he was hesitating because he would like to spend more time with his family.

Coutts was in Valencia Thursday to present the stage of the RC 44 Championship Circuit 2010 that will be held in the city the end of July, in which an Oracle boat will participate.