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San Diego and Bermuda in final run for 2017 America's Cup

By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Diego and Bermuda have been short listed to host the 35th America's Cup in 2017 while Chicago has been eliminated from consideration, the organization that runs the regatta said on Tuesday.

The America's Cup Event Authority said in a news release it would work with the California city and the British Overseas Territory on logistics and commercial opportunities and announce its decision before year end.

Chicago had been in the running for the Cup, where races would have been held on Lake Michigan. The Windy City is a likely venue for racing events set for 2015 and 2016 leading up to the main regatta, the authority said.

Last year's competition in San Francisco overcame a host of troubles and ended with an epic comeback win for billionaire Larry Ellison's Oracle Team USA and widespread praise for the spectacular racing venue on San Francisco Bay.

As the event's victor, Oracle has the right to choose the venue for the next competition and in June it ruled out San Francisco.

While San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee wanted to host the regatta again, other local politicians have long opposed any public subsidies for what they deride as a rich man's yacht race.

"We are now able to focus on two venues that are motivated and enthusiastic at the prospect of hosting the next America’s Cup,” Authority Director Russell Coutts said in the news release.

The 2017 Cup will be held with a smaller version of the catamarans used in last year's competition and include new crew nationality minimums.

Oracle has negotiated the rules for the next Cup with Team Australia's Hamilton Island Yacht Club, the Challenger of Record.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Richard Chang)

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