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AC36: Monohulls all but confirmed for next America's Cup; no surprise if you have been following

AUCKLAND – Patrizio Bertelli, who heads challenger of record Luna Rossa - the syndicate negotiating terms for the next America's Cup with holders Team New Zealand, has told Italian newspaper La Stampa the event will be moving away from catamarans. It appears the deal was effectively done over two years ago when Luna Rossa agreed to help out Team NZ ahead of the last America's Cup in Bermuda. Bertelli said the Italian camp loaned Team NZ their test platform and key staff on the condition that if the Kiwi syndicate won in Bermuda, Luna Rossa would be instated challenger of record and the event would return to monohulls. "It was the condition for Luna Rossa to help them with men and means in the last edition," Bertelli told La Stampa. He said the new generation monohulls "will be very powerful boats" with foiling capabilities, but did not offer any further details. Bertelli's comments appear to confirm the rumours that had been circulating even before Team NZ got their hands on the Auld Mug in Bermuda that they intended to take the event back to monohulls. Team NZ have indicated they will announce the protocol for the 36th America's Cup later this month, with the class of boat has been the most highly anticipated detail in the document. –Article in Monday morning's La Stampa (Italian) as reported up by today's New Zealand Herald (English)

Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli (ITA, left), head of the AC36 Challenger of Record representative team, with Grant Dalton (NZL), head of AC35 winner Emirates Team New Zealand, in Bermuda during AC35.