UAE triumph

Ras al-Khaimah to host Americas Cup in February...

Swiss sailing team Alinghi and its yacht club, the Société Nautique de Genève, has confirmed that Ras al-Khaimah is its choice for the 2010 America's Cup race, it has been reported.

In a statement, Fred Meyer, vice commodore of the defending cup holders, said the venue "offers perfect weather and great sailing conditions for a match in February".

By custom, the defending America's Cup champions have the right to choose the location for the race which is due to start on February 8.

Team Alinghi, which won the last America's Cup in Valencia, Spain, in 2007, said it considered venues all over the world, including sites in Brazil, Thailand, Uruguay, Spain, northern Italy and Greece, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

After training in the UAE this winter, team officials said they felt it was the best fit for this race, which features what should be the two fastest boats in the competition's 158-year history.

Alinghi, which is owned by Swiss pharmaceutical heir Ernesto Bertarelli, will face off in three head-to-head races against rival BMW Oracle, backed by software mogul and Oracle founder Larry Ellison.

The America's Cup is the latest major sports conquest for the UAE, and follows Abu Dhabi's inclusion in the Formula One calendar.

According to a person familiar with Alinghi's plans, the team believes the area's calm seas and relatively light winds offer it a competitive advantage.

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