Russell Coutts, the CEO of America’s Cup champion Oracle Team USA, told The Associated Press on Saturday that sailing officials are talking with other venues about hosting the 35th America’s Cup in August 2017 because San Francisco officials haven’t offered the same terms as they did for last summer’s regatta, which ended with the American syndicate staging one of the greatest comebacks in sports.
Coutts, a five-time America’s Cup winner, said he’s not prepared to rule out San Francisco as host of the next regatta.
“They might have a change of heart. I don’t think they will, but they might,” Coutts said by phone from France. He was in Europe talking to potential sponsors.
Hawaii’s chances of hosting the event, a warm-up regatta or perhaps an early round of challenger eliminations appear to be on the rise because of the relationship between Larry Ellison, the software billionaire who owns Oracle Team USA, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Coutts said he hasn’t had discussions with Abercrombie, and no decisions have been made on a venue. He said Oracle Team USA representatives still need to visit prospective venues — including Hawaii — to check out potential racing sites.