Monohulls make America's Cup return

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Monohulls make America's Cup return

Monohulls make America's Cup return

Wellington (AFP) - Team New Zealand have chosen to defend their America's Cup title using high performance monohulls rather than the futuristic catamarans used in the past two editions of sailing's blue riband.

In a statement released Monday the America's Cup holders explained the thinking behind a return to a more conventional style boat.

"Emirates Team New Zealand have been consulting with a number of potential challengers and there is an overall desire to have a spectacular monohull yacht that will be exciting to match race.

"But also one that the public and sailors can relate to as a sail boat that really challenges a full crew of professional yachtsman around the race track," the statement read.

The return to monohulls was championed by Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of Italian fashion house Prada and team principal of Italy's Luna Rossa.

In their capacity as the official challenger of record, Luna Rossa are able to negotiate the rules and conditions of the next regatta.

Monohulls last featured in an America's Cup in 2010, when the United States' Oracle beat Swiss team Alinghi in Valencia, Spain.

Oracle then chose to switch to multihulls to defend their title in San Francisco in 2013, Larry Ellison's team clawing their way back from 8-1 down to triumph 9-8.

Multihulls were deployed again this year when the Kiwis gained their revenge on the United States' boat with an emphatic 7-1 victory off Bermuda.

New Zealand are set to defend their title in 2021 with Auckland favoured to stage the regatta.

Team New Zealand say they will announce further details of the Protocol for the 36th America's Cup later this month.