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November 12, 2009

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Alinghi accepts Valencia as venue for America's Cup

AMERICA'S Cup holder Alinghi has accepted Valencia as the venue for next year's race against challenger BMW Oracle Racing, the Swiss-based team said on Tuesday.

Alinghi, which sails under the colors of Societe Nautique de Geneve, had wanted to hold February's event in the United Arab Emirates and last week offered Australia as an alternative.

The two sides have been locked in a legal dispute in a New York court for more than two years over the terms of the race.

BMW Oracle, which had been holding out for Valencia, which hosted the 2007 edition, sails under the Golden Gate Yacht Club colors.

"The America's Cup defender, Societe Nautique de Geneve, has confirmed it will conduct a Deed of Gift Match with GGYC in February 2010 in Valencia, which is the date and venue repeatedly requested by GGYC and previously ordered by the Court," said the statement. "SNG has also expressed its intention to publish the 33rd America's Cup Notice of Race with immediate effect."

Alinghi, which as the holder has the right to choose the venue, had originally named Ras al-Khaimah in the UAE but this was rejected by its opponent and a New York judge last month ruled the next edition must be held in the southern hemisphere, or Valencia as the only exception.

"While SNG confirms Valencia as the venue for the 33rd America's Cup in February 2010, the offer to GGYC of an Australian venue for the same date remains on the table until 13 November 2009 provided GGYC agrees to withdraw all legal actions," added Alinghi.

GGYC welcomed Alinghi's announcement. "We're very pleased to see SNG/Alinghi have finally agreed with us that Valencia in February is the correct venue to hold the 33rd America's Cup," it said in a statement.

BMW Oracle, meanwhile, debuted a radical 58-meter wing sail on its monster trimaran during a shakedown cruise on San Diego Bay in California on Tuesday.

Helmsman Jimmy Spithill steered the space age-looking craft up and down the harbor, past the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and back.

The trimaran, known as BOR 90 and soon to be renamed USA, will face two-time defending champion Alinghi in a best-of-three showdown.


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