Yachting - America's Cup to feature six or seven yachts - Coutts

TO GO WITH AFP STORY (FILES) In this photo taken on February 21, 2010 Oracle Racing CEO and four-time cup winner Russell Coutts smiles as he attends a ceremony in San Diego, California to celebrate the team Oracle's victory in the 33rd America's Cup yacht race. In an interview with AFP, the America's Cup CEO Russell Coutts , 53, justifies the choice of a smaller catamaran originally planned - the AC48 (15 m) rather than the AC62 (19 m) ​​- , saying it will be as spectacular, probably as fast as the AC72 (22 m) of the last " Cup" in 2013 in San Francisco ... and a lot cheaper. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON (AFP Photo/VALERIE MACON)

- The 2017 America's Cup will feature six or seven yachts despite fallout over a change in boat size, according to race director Russell Coutts. A probable new Asian entry will be announced next month, Coutts told AFP. For the next contest in Bermuda, boats will be shrunk from 62 feet to 45-50 feet as a cost-saving measure. Four of the six teams who voted in favour of reducing the boat size last week issued a statement criticising Team New Zealand for their opposition. Luna Rossa, who were also opposed to the reduction, have withdrawn from the 2017 Cup in protest at what it called the "illegitimate" decision. But organisers insist they were right. "Since the launch of the AC45 turbos, people have realised that these boats, much smaller than the AC72, are fast and good for TV," insisted Coutts, chief executive of the America's Cup Event Authority.