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Page last updated at 15:11 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 16:11 UK

America's Cup battle set for UAE

Alinghi wins the America's Cup in 2007
Alinghi will be looking to repeat their success in 2007

The United Arab Emirates has been named as the venue for the 33rd America's Cup which starts on 8 February, 2010.

Two-time defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland picked Ras al-Khaimah as the port for a one-off duel against US challengers Oracle.

"This venue offers perfect weather and great sailing conditions," a spokesman for Alinghi's host club said.

The two teams were involved in a legal dispute following Alinghi's victory in Valencia, Spain in July 2007.

Oracle - from the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) in San Francisco - and Alinghi, who sail under the colours of Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG), had to contest a legal wrangle after the race in 2007 over Spanish syndicate Desafio Espanol's status as challenger.

According to the rules of the Cup, the defending champion and the challenger of record negotiate where and when the cup will be held, and the standards for the boats that will be permitted to sail in the race.

But in April this year, the US courts settled the matter and installed Oracle as the legitimate challenger.

606: DEBATE

As the defender, Alinghi had the choice of venue and decided to switch from Valencia, partly because of the time of the year with the prospect of racing in the winter and the heavy seas of the Mediterranean.

Having trained in the UAE during the winter, Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth said: "Our absolute priorities in making this decision are the prevailing weather conditions and the resulting safety that they bring to both teams.

"We looked everywhere for a venue that suited having good racing for the match dates in February."

Other locations in the Middle East and in South America are understood to have been considered.

Britain's Olympic medallists Ben Ainslie and Andrew Simpson, who were part of Team Origin, had been hoping to mount a challenge but are now looking to contest the 34th running of the Cup.

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



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see also
GB duo eye future America's Cup
25 Jun 09 |  Sailing
Date set for 33rd America's Cup
14 May 09 |  Sailing
Alinghi win America's Cup battle
29 Jul 08 |  Other sport...
America's Cup goes back to court
27 Mar 08 |  Other sport...
Alinghi secure America's Cup win
03 Jul 07 |  Sailing
America's Cup guide
16 Apr 07 |  Sailing


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