31 Jan 2012

America's Cup challengers may be down to three

6:40 pm on 31 January 2012

Sailing's America's Cup may attract only three challengers next year, and races could be shortened to thirty minutes.

Competitors have met in Auckland with racing formats as short as thirty minutes being discussed, to keep television viewers watching the event in San Francisco.

Iain Murray, the chief executive of America's Cup Race Management says at present only the defender Oracle, and three challengers look certain to build their seventy-two-foot catamarans.

Murray says he'd like to have more syndicates building boats but the world economic crisis has taken a toll and organisers need to be realistic about that.

The three challengers who are building or who have confirmed plans are Team New Zealand, Artemis, and Luna Rossa.