If U.S. wins, 75-foot boats will be back


SAN DIEGO -- If America3 wins the America's Cup, the 1995 event most likely again will be sailed in the 75-foot International America's Cup Class yachts, regatta organizers said yesterday.

But those officials, representing the Royal Perth, New York and San Diego yacht clubs and the America's Cup Organizing Committee also indicated that changes can be expected in the rules that govern competition.

"When we met with the challengers, they all expressed a great desire to stay within this class," SDYC commodore Frederick G. Delaney III said yesterday while explaining the protocol for 1995 if the Americans successfully defend the Cup.

"Bill Koch [head of the America 3 syndicate] said at one time that he felt the boats should be scaled down, but even he today says that he would prefer to stay in this class. It is our intention to sail the 29th America's Cup in this class."

The Compagnia della Vela, which would become the defender of the Cup if Il Moro di Venezia wins the best-of-seven series, said it would not reveal the details of its protocol unless it wins this regatta.

"I think the documents are very similar," said Tom Ehman, vice president and general manager of the ACOO. "There are some changes, but the format of the document is roughly the same."

The significant changes in the SDYC protocol are:

* The SDYC will accept challenges from qualified foreign yachts for a period of 180 days after the close of racing in this cup series.

* All challenges will be considered to have been received at one time and all challengers will have to agree to abide by the terms of the protocol. This item would eliminate renegade challenges such as the one that resulted in the catamaran-monohull debacle in 1988.

* All challengers will be required to post a non-refundable entry fee of $75,000, up from $25,000 in the previous protocol.

* For the next cup match, the SDYC would retain the current language concerning nationality. But if the SDYC successfully defends in 1995, the next cup would be sailed with tighter restrictions on who may sail for what country.

* SDYC will appoint an international committee to determine and recommend ways to cut costs of future cup campaigns.

* TSDYC would seek ways to coordinate defender and challenger elimination series so that both are sailed under the same formats.

Cutting costs, of course, would encourage countries to challenge, but finding ways to trim budgets may be difficult.

"We put it in as an intent to form a committee, with input from the challengers, the defenders, the designers, from whomever we can get," Delaney said.

The possibilities include limiting the number of boats that each syndicate can build, the number of sails, materials and campaign length.

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