25 Apr 2009

America's Cup hopes dashed after meeting

8:39 am on 25 April 2009

Hopes of an early return to sailing towards the next America's Cup appear to have been dashed after the first meeting of arch-rivals Alinghi of Switzerland and San Francisco-based BMW Oracle.

The Swiss have rejected moves by the Americans to stage a traditional Cup regatta in Valencia, insisting that BMW Oracle go ahead with its formal challenge using a 90 foot multihull.

The Geneva meeting of the two camps was their first since a New York Court ended an 18-month legal battle in favour of BMW Oracle - upholding their right to challenge the Swiss directly in the big multihull.

The Americans have always said they would prefer to drop that challenge, if they could negotiate new rules for the Swiss to stage a traditional regatta open to all challengers.

The Swiss insist that it is only the multihull challenge that they will accept, and there is already disagreement over BMW Oracle's assertion that the court requires the contest to be held next February.

Other challengers including Team New Zealand had held some hopes that the pair might resolve their differences