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PD Staff
03-17-2010, 06:54 PM
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/yachting/news/article.cfm?c_id=106&objectid=10632667

http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/RussellCoutts_460x23063049.jpg



Meetings between Sir Russell Coutts and potential America's Cup challengers have highlighted the need for budget restrictions ahead of the 34th America's Cup - but don't expect to see a push for one-boat campaigning.

BMW Oracle Racing chief executive Coutts said only a stagnant world economy would prevent the regatta returning to its former glory as a significant multi-challenger event and teams were looking at fundamental ways of reducing costs.

Coutts was in Auckland for the Louis Vuitton Trophy and was talking to teams about the format of the next America's Cup, likely to be held off the coast of San Francisco.

Asked whether the litigious nature of the 33rd edition and the uncertainty surrounding the future of the event would be off-putting to teams, Coutts said: "We've got a good opportunity, in the first instance, to get it back to being a multi-challenger event. Obviously the legal battles in the past were not what most people wanted. That's been and gone now and the important thing is to get this thing back on track and hopefully improve it beyond where it's been in the past.

"The one thing that will be difficult is the economy. The world economy is still at a tough point. For some of these teams to raise money, it will be a challenge.

"We have to think about that. It's one of the things we're talking to the teams about."

Grant Dalton, Emirates Team New Zealand boss, agreed that generating cash would be a lot tougher this campaign. He agreed in principle to the idea of budget reductions.

"There's a genuine knowledge within the sport, certainly within America's Cup, that we have to get budgets under control," Dalton said.

The obvious way of doing that would be to scrap two-boat testing, something that has been mooted in the past, but Dalton believed that would pose more problems than solutions.

"I think two boats is fine," Dalton said. "I'd need to fully consider what it meant because there are ways of one-boat testing but you need access to certain technology.

"At the moment we believe the defender needs to have the ability to race itself so it doesn't end up in the Challenger series, which was always one of the gripes with Alinghi, so on that same basis the challengers should also have two boats."

Dalton said the America's Cup should look closely at league and V8 Supercars, where budget restrictions did work and were successfully policed.

foreguy
03-18-2010, 04:13 PM
Coutts was in Auckland for the Louis Vuitton Trophy and was talking to teams about the format of the next America's Cup, likely to be held off the coast of San Francisco

Ocean Beach?