The America's CupThe long-awaited showdown in Valencia between holders Alinghi and America’s Cup challengers Oracle saw this most venerated of yachting’s trophies return to its ancestral home in the US as the American team beat the Swiss champions to take the trophy back home.

The high-tech Oracle trimaran proved too strong for the Alinghi catamaran, scoring two back-to-back victories and taking the second win with a more than five-minute lead over their European rivals. Oracle’s victory was hailed in the US, as it is the first American win since 1995, when the San Diego Yacht Club beat the Compagnia della Vela di Venezia.

Venue
As the new champions, Oracle will be hosting the next America’s Cup at a venue of their choosing. Although the team represents the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco, there is a very strong possibility that the next challenge will not be held in California, but rather in Rhode Island.

Forever associated with the rich history of this, the longest established sports competition in the world, Rhode Island is very much the spiritual home of this legendary yacht race and one of the most important locations for the sport in the world. Traditionally the home of the New York Yacht Club, the most successful team in America’s Cup history, Rhode Island could very well be the popular and distinguished venue for the 34th edition of the competition – in which the Golden Gate Yacht Club will go from challenger to defender.

Broader perspectives
A tough competitionThough Oracle boss Larry Ellison, the co-founder and chief executive of the Oracle Corp., is believed to favour a return to Rhode Island over San Francisco, there is also a chance that his team may opt to keep the event in Valencia, where it was held in successive competitions in 2007 and 2010.

The international teams have been so positive about the facilities and the overall experience in the Spanish city that a return to Valencia has not been ruled out. In fact, it will take some time before we know which of the three possible contenders will be definitely named as the venue for the 34th America’s Cup, though Rhode Island is currently believed to be the favourite.

Another possible initiative by Ellison is a return to the original rules that would herald the revival of a multi-team field of challengers. Currently Italian team Club Nautico di Roma are down as the official challengers, but if the Oracle boss has his way the competition will return to a more open format that would allow teams from countries like New Zealand, South Africa and others to broaden the field considerably.

For the America’s Cup, therefore, it appears that there are exciting times ahead!

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