The America's Cup is confirmed to return to monohulls.
Patrizio Bertelli, who heads challenger of record Luna Rossa - the syndicate negotiating terms for the next America's Cup with holders Team New Zealand, has told Italian newspaper La Stampa the event will be moving away from catamarans.
That today was confirmed by Team New Zealand, noting that a team of designers are working on monohull concepts after having consulted with a number of potential challengers.
"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," Team New Zealand said in a statement.
It appears the deal was effectively done over two years ago when Luna Rossa agreed to help out Team NZ ahead of the last America's Cup in Bermuda.
Bertelli said the Italian camp loaned Team NZ their test platform and key staff on the condition that if the Kiwi syndicate won in Bermuda, Luna Rossa would be instated challenger of record and the event would return to monohulls.
"It was the condition for Luna Rossa to help them with men and means in the last edition," Bertelli told La Stampa.
He said the new generation monohulls "will be very powerful boats" with foiling capabilities, but did not offer any further details.
Bertelli's comments confirmed the rumours that had been circulating even before Team NZ got their hands on the Auld Mug in Bermuda that they intended to take the event back to monohulls.
Foiling catamarans have featured in the last two America's Cup under former custodians Oracle Team USA. The move brought about a quantum shift for the event, bringing about high-speed racing, often pitched as the Formula 1 on the water.
Five of the six teams competing in Bermuda this year supported sticking with the 50-ft America's Cup Class catamarans used in this year's event, signing a framework agreement months out from the regatta agreeing to stick with the status quo if they won the Cup. Team NZ were the only team not to sign the document.
Luna Rossa, one of just three challengers for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco, withdrew from this year's event in March 2015 in protest at sweeping changes to protocol mid-cycle which were implemented by then holders Oracle Team USA.
They continued to support Team NZ, loaning them their test boat and providing technical staff, including skipper Max Sirena. The move helped the cash-strapped Kiwis kickstart their development programme and kept the Italians in the game.
Luna Rossa, a representative of the Circolo della Vela Sicilia yacht club, were signed up as the challenger of record within minutes of Team NZ beating Oracle in this year's Cup match in Bermuda in June.
Further details about the next America's Cup will be confirmed at the end of the month.