A New York judge has ruled out plans to stage next February's defence of sailing's America's Cup in waters off the United Arab Emirates.
The judge has ruled that the Swiss defenders must stage the event either in the southern hemisphere in accordance with the Cup's Deed of Gift, or in Valencia-Spain where the last Cup regatta was held.
The decision is a blow to the Swiss Alinghi team which has begun sailing its 90 foot catamaran out of the venue Ras Al Khaimah, near Dubai.
The gulf venue had been opposed by the Cup challenger BMW Oracle - but the judge made no comment on the American's grounds that the venue was unsafe because of its proximity to Iranian waters.
The America's Cup Deed of Gift requires any regatta held between November and May to be sailed in the southern hemsiphere, but the judge backs a previous court decision also allows a return to Valencia.
Alinghi has made no comment on where they now expect to stage the defence, but a spokesperson for BMW Oracle believes the regatta will be held in Valencia.