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Team New Zealand's CEO Grant Dalton expects to know if they will take part in the new, multi-hulled America's Cup by early next year.
Timed for 2013 at a venue yet to be decided (but which should be known by Christmas), the Cup is following a new blueprint as laid down by BMW Oracle. It will be raced in 72-foot (21.95m) catamarans with wing-sails, prefaced by a series in 45-foot catamarans with points accruing towards a challenger series.
More detail has yet to be divulged but while some, like Britain's Team Origin, have thrown their hands up in the air and have disbanded their team and all hope of winning the Cup, Emirates Team NZ are keeping an open mind.
Cup skipper Dean Barker has returned from the Extreme 40 sailing series in Spain. He and other ETNZ crew members finished eighth and last in the 40-foot, high performance catamarans, gaining ideal preparation for what might lie ahead in the America's Cup.
The 45-foot catamaran series of five regattas will begin next year, so decisions are needed quickly about commitment. Similarly, the 72-footer will need to be launched in 2012, with building starting no later than June next year.
While Dalton says he won't be surprised if Cup entries are down for the next regatta, he says his "guesstimation" is that Emirates Team NZ might be able to compete for about the same overall cost as the last Cup regatta in Valencia in 2007.
"We might be wrong about that so we still have work to do before we make a decision."
ETNZ has always prided itself on financial discipline and, while he won't divulge the costs, Dalton clearly believes it can be done for a great deal less than the enormous €135 million ($250 million) advanced by some quarters within TeamOrigin, for instance.
If Team NZ decide to compete - "and that's a big if," says Dalton - he will then begin his familiar search for more sponsors and funding, although the largest component of the costs is salaries and they will be down from last time as fewer sailors are required on the big cats.
The key is the selection of a venue.
San Francisco is favoured but there are reports of a possible multi-venue, including a city or cities in Europe.
Dalton favours San Francisco but, either way, needs to know a venue before he can target sponsors with a view to the environment such backers can leverage.
In the meantime, he, Barker and others will debrief on ETNZ's first foray into multi-hulls and what they have to do to be competitive.