New measures aimed at reducing the size of America's Cup boats will entice more challengers for the historic trophy, according to Russell Coutts.
The former sailor and current chief executive of the America's Cup Event Authority has released a statement advocating the change.
Coutts' statement comes on the eve of a vote over adopting 45-foot boats to be used in Bermuda in 2017.
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The new boat under consideration is a wing-sailed catamaran which is smaller than the AC62 used in San Franscisco.
"If these changes are adopted it seems certain new teams will join this edition of the Cup," Coutts was quoted as saying on sailing news website Scuttlebut.
"We're trying to take as big a step as possible to reduce costs now and in the future. The good news is all six teams agree we should reduce the size of the boats to save money. However, there is still some debate as to the size of the boat we should adopt."
Coutts acknowledged that some teams would prefer a smaller change. However, he said the majority of teams believed it was better to take bolder action for the long-term interests of the Cup.
"When it comes to cost-reduction, size matters," he said. "Under 50 feet, real savings kick in on all levels: design, boat-building, sailing team and operations, so that's why we're looking at this range."
British sailor Ben Ainslie, who is helming a self-titled team, endorsed the changes and said he hoped no teams would end their campaigns if they're passed.
- with Newstalk ZB