Cup rules allow Oracle to sail with challengers

Rocking the boat: America's Cup rules allow Oracle Team USA to sail with challengers early on

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The America's Cup has shaken the rules for the 2017 regatta.

Defending champion Oracle Team USA will be able to race against challengers in early elimination rounds and give either Oracle or a challenger the chance to start the final match with a one-point lead.

Oracle Team USA will be allowed to build two 62-foot catamarans and the challengers only one, although Oracle will be restricted on when it can sail its second boat.

The protocol for the 35th America's Cup was released Tuesday, more than seven months after Oracle Team USA staged one of the greatest comebacks in sports to successfully defend the oldest trophy in international sports.

The early challenger qualifying rounds are expected to be held in a different venue from the challenger semifinals, finals and America's Cup match.

Venues haven't been selected.