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Volume 10 No. 25

Events and Attractions

The next America's Cup "could be sailed off a Hawaiian beach, on San Diego Bay or in some other port instead of returning to a San Francisco Bay course," according to the AP. America's Cup champion Oracle Team USA CEO Russell Coutts said 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." Coutts, a five-time America's Cup winner, said that he is "not prepared to rule out San Francisco as the next host." He said, "They might have a change of heart. I don't think they will but they might." Hawaii's chances are "on the rise because of the relationship between Larry Ellison, the software billionaire who owns Oracle Team USA, and state Gov. Neil Abercrombie" (AP, 1/26).

Australian Open Tournament Dir Craig Tiley said that "the comprehensive annual event review would include a reappraisal of its controversial extreme heat policy," according to Linda Pearce of THE AGE. Tiley said that "only the four blistering hot days in week one denied the Australian Open a record crowd." Although, significantly, pre-sales were about 8% higher than before, numbers of walk-up ground-pass patrons "were down on days two to five," meaning the aggregate crowd figure -- including an estimate for the final-night attendance -- was expected to be down by 7-8% on the 684,457. Tiley: "We are very weather-dependent. Every day that we did not have the heat was a record for us, and if we hadn't had the heat for those four days it definitely would have been a record." Tiley said that the extreme heat policy, adjusted to allow play to stop at the referee's discretion, "had been implemented with the players' approval." He said, ''But like with everything we do we'll look at it. The thing we have to find is what is the fairest way to put a policy in place that doesn't negatively impact the playing environment, and negatively impact one player over the other, and that's where the struggle always comes" (THE AGE, 1/27).

Dubai Racing Club Int'l Manager Martin Talty said that Sydney's "attempt to lure high-class overseas horses to its autumn carnival would succeed only when a satisfactory quarantine station and training facility is available in NSW," according to Patrick Bartley of THE AGE. Talty said on Sunday that the "awkward and stringent" quarantine demands made it "difficult to take international horses to Sydney." Talty said that Sydney should not "program any more international race meetings until a permanent quarantine base was in place" (THE AGE, 1/27).