Cup update

Following the Moet Cup Peter Rusch looks at what has been learned about the future of the America's Cup
The Moët Cup finished on Saturday in San Francisco with Larry Ellison’s Oracle BMW Racing team sweeping the hardware - putting to rest the conspiracy theories floating around that had the event as sailing’s answer to professional wrestling. But the Oracle team needed the final race in both the Pro-Driver and Owner-Driver divisions to claim victory. Far more important than the results on the water however, is the fact that any Cup-style racing was happening in the first place - a full four years out from the next big dance in Europe. It is safe to say that the event was well received - estimates ranged from 300 to 500 spectator boats on the water, and perhaps 7,000 gathered along the shoreline - and generally well organised, not withstanding some eyebrow raising Race Committee work (starting a race without Umpires on the water, abandoning a race the following morning). Given such a positive result for the Moët Cup, what does that mean for the future? Although the typical America’s Cup veil of secrecy has descended over everyone officially connected, it is clear that the Moët Cup is seen as a template of sorts for a series of events to be held between now and 2007. There has been plenty of talk about making the racing more accessible to spectators, and that was certainly achieved this past week in San Francisco. "You get consistent breeze, you get a fantastic course area where you can bring the racing in to the shore to allow people to see the racing up close which has been great," said Russell Coutts, Executive Director of Alinghi, talking about the racing in San Francisco, but perhaps giving a hint of what they are looking for from the bid cities. At this time, nothing is set in stone. But secret meetings are