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Page last updated at 21:18 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 22:18 UK

America's Cup set for March 2009

Swiss America's Cup team Alinghi
Alinghi beat Team New Zealand to win the 32nd America's Cup

The America's Cup between holders Alinghi and challengers Oracle is to be held in March 2009, a New York Supreme Court judge has ruled.

Judge Herman Cahn ordered the series to take place in Valencia, Spain, or another location chosen by Alinghi.

The winner of the duel will have the right to organise the subsequent event under the more usual multi-team format.

The rivals have been embroiled in a court battle after Oracle claimed Alinghi had broken competition rules.

Alinghi beat Team New Zealand to win the America's Cup in Valencia in 2007.

Soon after, Alinghi named Spain's Desafio Espanol as the challenger of record, and set the rules with a Spanish yacht club for the next Cup in Valencia in 2009.

But American syndicate BMW Oracle challenged the protocol, claiming Alinghi were building an unfair advantage, and took the Swiss team to court.

Organisers postponed the proposed 33rd America's Cup five days before the New York State Supreme Court found in BMW Oracle's favour.

The court ruled that Alinghi had chosen an illegitimate yacht club as challenger because it does not hold an annual regatta.

Oracle were installed as challenger for a best-of-three head-to-head match and hoped to race in multihulls in October 2008, but Alinghi claimed they would not be able to build a boat in time.

Judge Cahn said it would be "inequitable" to deprive Alinghi of the full 10-month notice of challenge, which began on Monday.

Several teams have already entered the next Cup, including Mascalzone Latino of Italy, Shosholoza of South Africa, Team Origin of Britain, Team New Zealand and United Internet Team Germany.

The America's Cup was first raced for around the Isle of Wight in 1851.

see also
America's Cup goes back to court
27 Mar 08 |  Other sport...
America's Cup postponed over row
22 Nov 07 |  Sailing
Alinghi sailor fails doping test
01 Oct 07 |  Sailing
Coutts to lead Oracle challenge
24 Jul 07 |  Sailing
Alinghi secure America's Cup win
03 Jul 07 |  Sailing
America's Cup guide
16 Apr 07 |  Sailing

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