Eleven challengers meet with the current Cup holders according to a statement by Alinghi

Eleven challengers entered in the 33rd America’s Cup and the Defender, Alinghi, met today at the Société Nautique de Genève, for the first of several Competitor Meetings to discuss returning the competition to the water as soon as possible. The meeting was called for by the Defender’s event organising entity AC Management and chaired by Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth.

This initial get together follows a series of individual discussions between Alinghi and the challengers. At the top of the agenda was the need for a financially sustainable model that includes cost-containment measures, such as a one-boat campaign and the creation of a new class of race yacht; faster and more spectacular than the Version 5.0 used for the 32nd America’s Cup, but cheaper than the AC90 originally intended for the 33rd edition.

The new class will mean affordable participation for all existing teams, including the most recent entries, and will provide motivation for potential new challengers to join the 33rd America’s Cup, expected to take place in 2010.

At the end of the meeting, the eleven challengers present and the Defender signed a joint request addressed to BMW Oracle Racing and the Golden Gate Yacht Club asking them to withdraw their law suit and join the fair and constructive process of reviewing the applicable documents and schedule that will allow the America’s Cup to return to the water as soon as possible.

The entered teams and their yacht clubs, present at the Competitor Meeting were:

– Alinghi, Société Nautique de Genève, Switzerland – Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup
– Desafío Español, Club Náutico Español de Vela, Spain – Challenger of Record
– Shosholoza, Royal Cape Yacht Club, South Africa
– TeamOrigin, Royal Thames Yacht Club, United Kingdom
– Emirates Team New Zealand, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, New Zealand
– United Internet Team Germany, Deutscher Challenger Yacht Club, Germany
– Green Comm, Challenge Circolo di Vela Gargano, Italy
– Ayre, Real Club Náutico de Dénia, Spain
– Victory Challenge, Gamla Stans Yacht Sãllskap, Sweden
– Argo Challenge, Club Náutico di Gaeta, Italy
– French Spirit, Yacht Club de St Tropez, France
– Carbon Challenge, Royal Belgian Sailing Club, Belgium