Next cup will be held in Valencia

With BMW Oracle filing a lawsuit through representative club, the Golden Gate Yacht Club, the atmosphere surrounding the next America’s Cup has been one of uncertainty.

But Swiss Defender Alinghi, led by Ernesto Bertarelli, together with the Societe Nautique de Geneve and ACM, have made public most of the details for the 33rd edition of the oldest trophy in the world of sport, hoping to put supporters’ minds at ease.

Following a new agreement with the Spanish state, the Valencia Regional Government and the Valencia Municipality, the Host City for the 33rd America’s Cup will be Valencia. The event will take place in 2009, between May and July, with two pre-regattas to be held in 2008. One of them will be in Valencia in July and the other one in another European country in the autumn. They will be raced on the existing America’s Cup Class (Version 5) boats.

Challenges for the 33rd America’s Cup have been accepted from four yacht clubs to date, the first one being the Spanish Challenger of Record, Club Nautico Espanol de Vela, represented by Desafio Espanol. This was followed last week by another veteran from the 32nd campaign, the South African Team Shosholoza, representing the Royal Cape Yacht Club, and early this week by the British newcomer Team Origin, flying the flag of the Royal Thames Yacht Club. Today, the latest challenger to be accepted is the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Team New Zealand.

The challenge period will remain open until further notice.

It was also announced today that the Class Rule, the technical definition of the boats for the 33rd America’s Cup, will be published on October 31st. The Competition Rules, with the precise format of the different racing phases, and the Event Regulations will also be published on October 31st.

Michel Bonnefous, CEO of America’s Cup Management (ACM), said: “We are glad to announce today the cornerstones of the 33rd America’s Cup, which should extend the positive trend for the event that was launched with the 32nd edition. As the Event Authority, we have now secured a venue that has already proved to be ideal and we hope to have set the elements to facilitate a close competition.”

Rita Barbera, Mayoress of Valencia, said: ‘As the President of the Consortium that has worked with ACM to make the 32nd America’s Cup the best ever, I would like to invite Larry Ellison and his team to withdraw his legal action and come back to Valencia and join us. We would welcome him with open arms to join all the other challengers in the 33rd America’s Cup.’