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New Format Possible For America’s Cup Challengers

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US challenger BMW Oracle Racing giant trimaran sails during the second race of the 33rd America's Cup off Valencia's coast on February 14, 2010 in Valencia, Spain.

US challenger BMW Oracle Racing giant trimaran sails during the second race of the 33rd America’s Cup off Valencia’s coast on February 14, 2010 in Valencia, Spain. (Manuel Queimadelos/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — Organizers of next year’s America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay said they will reconsider the format of the challengers’ series after receiving only three entries.

Regatta director Iain Murray said only Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa of Italy and Artemis of Sweden have paid the $100,000 entry fee. Murray said it was unlikely other syndicates would enter at this late stage.

“We’re hopeful of having more teams outside of the teams that are already building, but the reality is the runway is going to run out in the not too distant future as to when they can start building and get to the start line,” Murray said. “So it is going to become clear pretty quickly as to who the Louis Vuitton Cup competitors are going to be.”

Organizers had planned for eight teams to contest the Louis Vuitton challenger series, which would have run from July 4 to Sept. 1 next year. Murray said other formats will now be considered.

The winner will take on defending champion Oracle in the America’s Cup final.

Murray said the Louis Vuitton Series was now likely to be significantly scaled back.

“It’s going to change what’s on the table for sure,” he said. “In the next few weeks we’ll start planning on a bunch of potential different formats as to what the Louis Vuitton Cup will look like. We’ll have to look at the mixture of the type of racing we do and how many races we do on each day and the breaks that we give the teams.”

Murray said organizers would consider making each of the matches in the challengers’ series a best-of-three series, rather than a one-off match.

(Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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