America's Cup News: 3rd and 4thd Quarter 2009
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Selected Archive of News Stories and Features:
Dec 22: Golden
Gate YC wants construction country of origin questions
about the race yachts to be settled before upcoming America's Cup
Match; GGYC may ask the International Jury to issue an
Dec 16: Louis
Vuitton Trophy dates in Auckland, March 7-21, 2009, as part
of a nearly month-long regatta triple play with the Omega
Auckland Match Race Regatta and BMW World Sailing Cup Final:
Dec 15: Cory
E. Friedman, yachting and legal analyst, assesses the
Appellate ruling: "Much has been written about how the Deed needs
to be updated, but New York’s courts have demonstrated that the
Deed is just fine as it is. The body of precedent this litigation
has created has applied the Deed in a thoroughly fair and modern
way. Given the behavior of ISAF and many of the challengers who
filed amici in the Court of Appeals, it is hard to see
what sailing organization could do a better job of overseeing the
America’s Cup than the Courts of New York.":
Dec 12: Memorial
to Sir Peter Blake opens in Auckland, featuring 1995
America's Cup winner Black Magic, NZL-32:
Dec 8: Optimism?
About the America's Cup? Alinghi and BMW Oracle talk about a
seven-race match instead of three:
Dec 7: After the
Match: Mark Chisnell ponders the future of the America's
Cup: "Personally, I’m starting to think that if the new
challenger agreement provides for no lasting change, then maybe
it’s time for Sir Keith and all the other potential teams to
think about walking away from the Cup, just letting that ugly old
silver ewer go...":
Dec 2: Captured
British yachtsman released by Iranian authorities:
Nov 30: Iran
seizes racing yacht and five British crew. The yacht, from a
group associated with Team Pindar, is not directly involved with
America's Cup activities, but the incident may play into fears
previously raised about staging an America's Cup defense on
waters near RAK:
Nov 30: "Small
breakage" for Alinghi in RAK, details not disclosed. Boat
will be "...will be checked over and repaired":
Nov 29: Cory E.
Friedman reports on the appeal hearing, and the likely outcomes:
Nov 28: BMW
Oracle testing concluded in San Diego, monster multi-hull
to be shipped to Valencia:
Historian John Rousmaniere takes a look at the ins and outs of
measuring the load waterline length of America's Cup
Nov 24: A
fascinating technical interview with Dimitri Despierres, a
designer of BMW Oracle's unprecedented wing (now
translated in English):
Alinghi cat still testing bigger rig in RAK, more
modifications of defender yet to come:
America's Cup challenger BMW Oracle multi-hull breaks bowsprit
Cory E. Friedman works on unraveling the America's Cup legal
appeals. Did SNG name Valencia? Did GGYC agree? Why does SNG have
new lawyers? When will a decision come?:
Nov 10: Let it
be?: Alinghi says that the America's Cup match will be held in
Valencia, in February, unless Golden Gate YC comes to
agreement with them on one of two Australian locations by
Nov 8: Golden Gate YC characterizes weekend talks about venue issues with SNG as "cordial but inconclusive" and says negotiations are still ongoing.
Nov 4: No
Stay: NY Appellate Court refuses to issue a stay in regard to
last week's venue decision rejecting RAK as non-compliant with
the Deed of Gift. The court did grant an expedited appeal. Legal
analyst Cory E. Friedman in
Scuttlebutt #2966 sees a hearing likely to be held in the
second half of November. The first race in February is
barely three months away.
GGYC/BMW Oracle say they would be receptive to racing the
America's Cup in Valencia, ask that otherwise the defender
name a legal venue soon, and express their willingness to hold
discussions to resolve match terms:
Oct 27: In a
New York SC Minute: Leading yachting/legal analyst, Cory E.
Friedman surveys the aftermath of Tuesday's Supreme Court
Oct 27: From
Alinghi to Germany to France, now with All4One Challenge
competing in the Louis Vuitton Trophy, Jochen Schümann
Oct 21: With an October 27 court date approaching, the location of the 2010 America's Cup defense remains an issue and legal documents are accumulating from all sides. GGYC questions the legality and safety of the venue, Alinghi responds that the venue is legal and safe, Cory E. Friedman takes stock.
Oct 19: Defender Alinghi holds a press conference in RAK to kick off their on-site training for the America's Cup and to show journalists the venue: Read reports from Sailing World and Valencia Sailing Blog
Oct 17: Alinghi
begins on-the-water training with their giant catamaran in
Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, the venue selected for the
defense of the America's Cup:
K-Challenge debuts "All4One" team with Jochen Schümann
(Alinghi '07, '03) as Sporting Director and Skipper to compete in
the Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta next month in Nice,
Multi-hulls for the next two America's Cups? An article by
Isabelle Musy in LeTemps reports that the leadership of Alinghi
intends to push for the America's Cup to regularly be a
multi-hull event even after the Deed of Gift match is sailed
Australia II's Boxing Kangaroo Battle Flag returns to
Fremantle. Made by AusII's sailmaker from spinnaker
remnants, the icon of the first successful America's Cup
Challenger in history has flown for the last 26 years in a
Newport bar. Now the flag will hang in the WA Maritime
Oct 6: On the
ground: TVNZ's Martin Taker visits the Ras Al-Khaimah
venue in UAE:
Oct 2: Golden
Gate YC files with NY Supreme Court objecting to the defender's
choice of location for the upcoming regatta, believing it
violates the Deed of Gift:
Oct 1: 12 days
and 4400 nautical miles from Genoa, Alinghi's catamaran AL-5
arrives in Ras al Khaimah, UAE, for upcoming America's Cup
defense just over 4 months away:
Sept 30: Team
Origin's GBR-75 and BMW Oracle's USA-76 will comprise the second
pair of race yachts for the upcoming Louis Vuitton World
Series regatta in Nice, France, this November. The two boats,
to be equalized for match racing, will join Mascalzone Latino's
Sept 29: With the
anniversary of Australia II's historic America's Cup
victory 26 years ago this past week, one of the main players
in her design reveals how the famous inverted and winged keel
Sept 28: With
Alinghi's catamaran enroute to UAE from Genoa, Italy, for the
America's Cup defense next February, Valencia Sailing
interviews Brad Butterworth:
Sept 26: Team New
Zealand still serious about Volvo Ocean Race entry, in
addition to Louis Vuitton World Series campaign:
Sept 22: NY
Supreme Court Justice Kornreich denies motion to disqualify
GGYC over registry, allows challenger's registry to be submitted
two weeks before the match, but says GGYC is unsportsmanlike:
Britain's Team Origin is set to join the World Sailing Team
Association (WSTA), the organization created for the new Louis
Vuitton World Series which begins this November:
Sept 17: Golden
Gate YC comments on SNG/Alinghi rules agreement for the America's
International Sailing Federation (ISAF) releases previously
secret agreement with SNG/Alinghi governing special rules for the
2010 defense of the America's Cup:
Sept 16: Barry
Ostrager, attorney for America's Cup defender SNG/Alinghi,
characterizes amici requests to reveal secret rules
agreement as publicity seeking and says SNG has agreed to
disclose the document signed with ISAF last May:
Sept 12: Team
Origin, not going away, is allying with Carbon Trust,
intensifying preparation for an America's Cup challenge,
and will keep racing in a variety of events :
Sept 8: Jochen
Schümann (Alinghi '07, '03) joins
K-Challenge for LV World Series:
Sept 2: Into the
fray: Legal Activist Cory E. Friedman files a motion with the NY
Supreme Court to make public the secret agreement
between ISAF and SNG/Alinghi:
Sep 2: GGYC goes
back to court, filing a motion seeking clarification on the
rules, restricting rules changes that would disqualify their
boat, and unsealing the secret rules agreement between
ISAF and SNG/Alinghi:
Aug 28: Louis
Vuitton regatta in France this year? Le Figaro suggests a
LV Series mid-November, to be held near Nice, France:
Aug 27: Hong Kong
to host Louis Vuitton "World Series" regatta in November,
2010? This would apparently be one of several LV events currently
being planned for 2010:
Aug 20: Movement
to expand Louis Vuitton Pacific Series gains steam. ETNZ's
Grant Dalton says the LVPS may begin again next year in Auckland:
Aug 20: Golden
Gate YC and BMW Oracle add high-profile attorney David Boies
to their team, in expectation of more legal issues to be settled:
Aug 15: Alinghi
America's Cup catamaran now sailing in Genoa, Italy. See
slide show and more:
Charles Morgan, designer of America's Cup defense contender
Heritage (1970), to speak August 17 in Gainesville, FL, at
Gulf Atlantic YC:
Aug 12: America's
Cup legal analyst Cory E. Friedman finds high drama, high
stakes, and highjinks in the freewheeling Supreme Court hearing
that took place Monday:
August 12: Rolf Vrolijk, Grant Simmer, and Dirk Kramers, Alinghi's key designers for the team's giant America's Cup catamaran, interviewed by Seahorse Magazine
Aug 12: "Jimmy [Spithill] just said if I come back more regularly he'll let me drive a lot, so I'm coming back": Larry Ellison interviewed at Sailing World
Aug 7: Cat
Flight: Russian helicopter carries Alinghi America's Cup
yacht from Switzerland to Italy. Photos and video:
Aug 6: Alinghi to
transport their giant catamaran to Genoa, Italy,
Friday using the world's largest helicopter:
Aug 6: Defender
SNG Alinghi publishes measurement rules for America's Cup
Aug 4: Legal
analyst Cory E. Friedman looks at the latest court
Aug 1: Schooner
America replica continues sailing history, and with
Dennis Conner at the helm, at the McNish Classic Yacht Race.
"I am Mr. America's Cup":
Aug 1: Meet
Sir Russell Coutts:
July 29: Short
interview with Dawn Riley of K-Challenge ('07), America
True ('00), and America³
('95, '92) about her continued work with the
True foundation and other sailing activities:
July 25: Valencia
Sailing talks at length with Tom Ehman, BMW Oracle Racing. "My
great fear was that they could use the rules to their own
purposes, cherry pick the rules and use the ones that were good
for them and waive the ones that were bad for them":
July 25: ETNZ's
Grant Dalton says next America's Cup challenge will be his
last as team leader. Kevin Shoebridge and Dean Barker will take
on his roles:
July 23: A visit
to Alinghi media day with the giant cat and plenty of
America's Cup 1937 re-match? Replicas of two of the
most famous Cup opponents, the J-Class yachts Ranger and
Endeavour II, raced head-to-head over the weekend, and in
Newport no less. See photos and race details:
July 21: A new J-Class top dog? Sparkman & Stephens
shows off "Super J" design: Modern technology, America's
Cup heritage, and classic visual appeal:
July 17: ISAF makes announcement about the upcoming
America's Cup match, says changes to rules will require their
sanction. Read story (with very few details):
July 15: What vacation? Legal analyst Cory E. Friedman
looks at the latest summer activities in the NY State Supreme
Court, America's Cup Division:
July 8: Multi-hull expert Steve Clark discusses design
challenges for the giant America's Cup boats:
July 6: DoG Days: BMW Oracle's giant Deed of Gift
multi-hull is testing again in San Diego:
July 2: Alinghi to launch spider-like catamaran on July 8?
Speculation on America's Cup Deed of Gift multi-hulls from
Update 12/31: Alinghi Proposes Three-way Talks
GGYC Statement: "The Golden Gate Yacht Club and BMW Oracle Racing intend to meet with Société Nautique de Genève as soon as possible in an attempt to remove the question mark hanging over the legality of Alinghi’s yacht they will use to defend the forthcoming 33rd America’s Cup.
"Foremost is the nationality clause in the America’s Cup Deed of Gift document which governs the event and requires the yachts of the Challenger of Record and the Defender to be constructed in the country of the yacht club they represent (“CIC”).
"Last week SNG was informed by GGYC of the obvious illegality of its yacht’s USA-built sails. Yesterday SNG responded and agreed to meet on the matter."
GGYC has concerns about Alinghi 5's sails and other elements, and may raise the issue with the America's Cup International Jury.
Update 12/31: Defender proposes meeting with Jury, Defender, and Challenger to address issues. "SNG anticipates all issues to be resolved through discussion....": See Statement at Alinghi site and Read SNG Letter (pdf)
Report: Agreement in Principle to Delay America's Cup to Feb 12th and Extend Match to Best of Seven
See Update 12/19: Agreement Now In Doubt
Dec 18: According to a report at the Independent Online of South Africa, quoting a source at BMW Oracle Racing, the Challenger and Defender have reached an agreement in principle to move the start of the match back by four days, from Monday February 8th to Friday 12th, and to extend the series from Best of Three races to Best of Seven format.
No formal agreement announced yet, so these changes are not confirmed, but they are in line with previous discussions. Given time constraints, expect more information about any changes to the format of the Defense shortly.
UPDATE Dec 19:
Provisional Agreements Said to Collapse: Article by
Richard Gladwell at Sail-World throws the possibility of
reaching mutual agreement between Defender, Challenger, and
Valencia into doubt. Gladwell reports that the negotiated
terms have been rejected by high-level Alinghi management.
If so, recently proposed schedule and format changes would be
dead, and possibly even broadcast rights and cooperation of the
port authorities could fail to materialize.
Louis Vuitton Regatta Plans Announced for 2010 and 2011
The Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas for 2010 and early 2011 have been announced. Planned dates and host cities are:
Trophy La Maddalena, Sardinia:
Trophy Middle East:
Trophy Hong Kong:
The Middle East location will be made public January 15, 2010. The eight teams that raced in the Louis Vuitton Trophy Regatta in Nice, Côte d’Azur, France, are expected to compete in the upcoming events, with the exception of BMW Oracle who will not race in Auckland while the team concentrates their preparation on the challenge for the America's Cup.
33rd Defense Will be in
Dec 15: The New York Appellate Court has denied the appeal filed by SNG and Alinghi, which hoped to re-establish RAK as the location of the defense of the America's Cup this February. Saying that the Supreme Court order regarding the venue, first drafted in 2008 by Justice Cahn but only taking effect in April 2009, does not explicitly state that the Deed's restrictions do not apply, the Appellate ruled that the Deed must be respected.
To quote the court: "Accordingly, the order should be read as carving out an exception to the Deed's hemisphere requirements in the case of Valencia, and the phrase 'or any other location selected by SNG' should be read as 'or any other Deed-compliant location selected by SNG.' RAK, which is in the Northern Hemisphere, is not a Deed-compliant location for a February race."
SNG has accepted this decision, see statement below.
Also, the Appellate Court agrees that the Supreme Court correctly decided that the external rudders are not to be counted in the measurement of Load Waterline Length.
From the decision: "...the court properly relied on undisputed extrinsic evidence, including New York Yacht Club rules extant at the time the 1887 Deed was settled, showing that length on load water-line is typically measured 'exclusive of any portion of the rudder or rudder-stock.' "
“This is a big stride forward,” commented Tom Ehman, Golden Gate Yacht Club spokesperson. “In place of doubt and delay, the sailing world wants certainty. It wants to see this contest to go-ahead soon and be contested under fair rules.”
The New York Supreme Court ruled on October 30th that Ras al Khaimah did not comply with the Deed of Gift, a decision upheld by the Appellate Division in a unanimous verdict.
The Court also turned down SNG’s second attempt to have rudders included in the crucial Load Water-Line measurement calculation. This has never occurred in the 32 previous America’s Cup matches and won’t happen in the 33rd.
“With the International Sailing Federation re-drafting the previously unbalanced and unfair agreement it struck with Société Nautique de Genève, and discussions continuing to normalize the Notice of Race, the common-sense approach to the remaining issues in this America’s Cup is prevailing,” added Ehman.
"Once again BMW
Oracle's strategy to try to win the America's Cup in court
instead of on the water has been successful. For the first time
in the history of the America's Cup the Defender has been
stripped of its fundamental right to select the venue. Société
Nautique de Genève accepts this decision and Alinghi is looking
forward to racing for the America's Cup on the water in Valencia,
Spain, in February 2010," said Fred Meyer, SNG vice-commodore.
Provisional Agreement to Cover Staging America's Cup Match in Valencia
Defense Could Expand to 5 or 7 Races
Dec 10: Representatives of the Defender, Challenger, and the Valencian authorities have reached a basic agreement on the logistics of holding the upcoming America's Cup match in the Spanish port city. Bases and adjacent space will be made available, marketing and television arrangements will be pursued, and other cooperation required to host the event is planned.
These activities are for now provisional since Alinghi has not yet conceded anything regarding the legalities of the venue decision nor have they committed to whether the match will actually take place in Spain or RAK. With no court decision to date on Alinghi's legal appeal, the advancing race date may force their hand to go with Valencia anyway.
Longer Bowsprit for Alinghi
The Defender shows an extended bowsprit on their giant catamaran, expecting to test the larger pole on the water starting this weekend in RAK.
Grant Simmer, Alinghi: The longer bowsprit gives us the opportunity to add more sail area and change the balance of the boat downwind. It won't have any effect on the upwind sailing; only on the downwind performance of the boat.
Court: Water Ballast Part of Measurement, Other Expert Opinions Adopted
Based on findings by the panel of experts convened by the NY Supreme Court, Justice Kornreich has issued final orders on the immediate five questions under consideration. Most prominently, water ballast, if any will be used, must be aboard, evenly distributed, and not shifted during measurement.
Addressing the objection SNG raised about Valencia being too dangerous a location to hold a defense in February, and noting that SNG named Valencia as the location for the defense in their Notice of Race on November 10, the court says "This issue is now moot."
The expert panel also recommends that an International Jury appointed by ISAF may administer the ISAF Rules independently and objectively, free from interference by SNG, but also directs that the parties attempt reach an agreement to cover these issues.
Read the Supreme Court Order (pdf 10 pages)
Alinghi/SNG Statement: (in full) "New York Supreme Court Justice Kornreich has brought a degree more certainty to the 33rd America's Cup today. It is good to at last have her decision on some of the pending issues. Alinghi continues to focus on its training programme ahead of the Match for the 33rd America's Cup against BMW Oracle on 8 February 2010."
(Excerpt) "This is victory for fair rules and common sense,” said
Tom Ehman, GGYC spokesperson. “Once again SNG’s attempts to bias
the rules in their favor have been rejected.”
BMW Oracle Makes First Voyage with New 190-foot Wing Mast
Helmsman: "When you think about what we did today -- that wing
was sitting here in the tent in the early hours this morning and
to move it, get it on the boat, get it in position, move the boat
off the dock, get the wing vertical and then to go out and sail
around in a tight harbor like this one and to fly a hull…
That's a fantastic day!"
BMW Oracle Reveals Wing Mast for Monster Multi-hull
Long rumored to be under construction, but kept under wraps until today, the rigid wing sail is 190 feet tall, and is 80% larger than the wing of a Boeing 747. It is expected to be stepped and sailing this week.
From BMW Oracle Racing: The wing will be tested as an option to increase performance compared with a traditional soft sail rig as previously sea-trialed on the BOR 90, the 90-foot trimaran the team has built for the 33rd America’s Cup.
The construction of the wing took place at Core Builders, the team’s boatbuilding facility in Anacortes, Washington, with finishing work completed at the team base in San Diego.
“This was a massive undertaking,” said Tim Smyth (NZL), who, along with Mark Turner (NZL), has been overseeing the wing construction team in Anacortes and in San Diego.
Meeting Over Weekend May Help Settle Venue Questions
Nearly in unison both SNG and Golden Gate YC offered statements Friday that promise the venue and timing issues for the 33rd Defense of the America's Cup may be resolved over the weekend. Progress might coalesce around SNG's offer to defend the Cup in Australia. In any case, the harmony of their statements is unprecedented in the conflict of the last 28 months and gives reason to think a solution to at least these issues could be found.
If the parties reach mutual consent on location or timing, then they are free to hold the match when and where they determine without the restrictions the court orders otherwise impose. GGYC's reference to timing suggests that a shift in schedule might be considered.
GGYC Statement from Tom Ehman: "Today's hearing at the New York Supreme Court was productive. Both sides -- Golden Gate Yacht Club and the America’s Cup defender Société Nautique de Genève -- have agreed to meet on the venue and timing issues over the weekend and report back to Justice Kornreich on Monday. We are hopeful an agreement can be reached."
from Lucien Masmejan: "Today's hearing before Justice Kornreich
was productive. Our yacht club, the Société Nautique de Genève,
the America's Cup Defender and the Golden Gate Yacht Club, the
challenger, have agreed to meet in New York over the weekend to
discuss the venue for the 33rd America's Cup. We are due to
report back to Justice Kornreich on Monday and are hopeful an
agreement can be reached."
Alinghi Offers Possibility of Australian America's Cup Match Venue
No Specific Location Yet Other Than "East Coast"
Alinghi Press Release (Nov 5): Ahead of tomorrow's hearing at the New York Supreme Court, the Swiss Defender has proposed a solution to the legal impasse brought about by the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC). While the Defender's first choice for the Deed of Gift Match is Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, in order to achieve a Match in February SNG proposes to stage the 33rd America's Cup on the east coast of Australia, in the Southern Hemisphere, in compliance with the Deed of Gift. This is a venue that should be acceptable to both teams if, as expressed publicly, the true intention of BMW Oracle is to race for the America's Cup on the water.
A specific race course in the Pacific Ocean off the east coast of Australia, with weather conditions suitable for racing in February, will be announced promptly should GGYC accept this offer and cease their legal strategy.
The east coast of Australia offers several locations with ideal sailing conditions for the best-of-three match. A venue in this region would be approximately two-and-a-half weeks away by ship from BMW Oracle's base in San Diego, while Alinghi's voyage from Ras Al Khaimah would take approximately three weeks.
SNG is hopeful
that this offer will be accepted and that the competition will
resume on the water rather than in court.
BMW Oracle Dismasted
Nov 3: Per a short report on the BMW Oracle Racing Blog, the rig came down during testing this morning while testing 20-30 miles off of San Diego. All crew are reported safe.
Upon returning to shore, James Spithill stated for the BMWO blog that the conditions were light and the seas were flat, and that further investigation would be needed to identify the factors causing the loss of the rig.
Bernie Wilson at the Associated Press describes the mast as falling backwards, possibly due to a failure involving the forestay, and then the mast itself breaking when it landed on the aft cross-member. The damaged mast is believed to have been the tallest of the three masts tested so far. See AP story at sfgate.com
Alinghi to Appeal Venue Decision
Nov 2: Defender Société Nautique de Genève will contest the recent New York Supreme Court ruling that the America's Cup may not be held in RAK in February unless the defender and challenger agree.
Justice Kornreich's decision was based upon reading the courts earlier order to allow Alinghi to select any location, which the court interpreted in the context of the Deed of Gift, which provides the north and south hemisphere limitations.
Alinghi believes that the order alone should control in this situation.
NY Supreme Court: Appoint Expert Panel to Weigh Technical Issues
Justice Shirley Kornreich has asked defender and challenger to help nominate jury members to consider some of the yacht racing arguments currently before the court. Assembling next Wednesday, November 4, the jury will provide the court with input on issues including movable ballast, suitability of racing venues, effect of defender's intended rules modifications, and questions about equitable regatta administration that are being contested.
Also, the issue of the method for measuring load-water-line has been resolved by the court, and rudders will not be included in the calculation.
Update 11/3, Jury
All three members served on the Jury for the 32nd America's Cup from 2004 onward. Willis has served on four America's Cup Jury panels, chairing the last three. Tillett umpired in the America's Cup starting in 1992, and was also a Jury member for the 2003 Defense in Auckland: See Bio
Journalists Discuss Cup Management Issues
James Boyd (UK), Tatjana Pokorny (GER), Loic Le Bras (FRA) and Emilio Martinelli (ITA) discuss the America's Cup in advance of the World Yacht Racing Forum this December, excerpted in the WYRF Newsletter:
Loic Le Bras (FRA), Voiles & Voiliers: "I think that in an exceptional situation such as this one, with two competitors unable to agree on anything, ISAF can play a role in making the duel as equitable as possible. It should be the Federation's role to name the Race Committee, the on-the-water judges and the Jury. Every team should have a right of veto applicable once against a member of this panel. This would guarantee some equity."
Valencia to Host America's Cup Match between Alinghi and BMW Oracle?
Oct 29: According to a report on Valencia Sailing Blog, Alinghi is in discussions with the government of Valencia and an agreement has been reached in principle to possibly hold the giant multi-hull match race there in February. Alinghi may also be currently negotiating with other cities.
NY Supreme Court Says No to RAK
Defender will have to select new location for America's Cup match next February
Valencia is still a possibility, or else a southern hemisphere location will need to be selected to conform with the requirements of the Deed of Gift that a February match may not be sailed in the northern hemisphere. Tuesday's NY Supreme Court decision is that Alinghi's selection of Ras al Khaimah is not compliant with the Deed for a February match.
From Golden Gate YC: "We’re pleased with the court’s decision today that Alinghi’s choice of the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup was not allowed under the Deed of Gift. We look forward to Justice Kornreich’s decision later this week regarding two additional issues."
Breach of Fiduciary Duty Complaint Filed Against America's Cup Trustee
With a court hearing already scheduled for Tuesday, October 27, on October 26th Golden Gate YC (GGYC) and BMW Oracle have filed a request with the New York Supreme Court to have Société Nautique de Genève removed from their role of Trustee for the expected upcoming America's Cup match. GGYC says that SNG's conduct violates their legal responsibility to conduct a fair competition and alleges that the trustee's selections of Valencia and RAK were motivated by personal financial interests.
From GGYC: "Reckless and repeated disregard in its stewardship of the America’s Cup by the Société Nautique de Genève has prompted the Golden Gate Yacht Club to ask the New York Supreme Court to remove the Swiss yacht club from its position as Trustee in a Breach of Fiduciary Duty complaint filed today."
Read the Complaint (pdf)
Louis Vuitton Trophy:
From Louis Vuitton: The facilities in Nice are being readied, the race boats are being tested, equalized and prepared for racing, and some of the teams spent some time on ACC yachts last week, working out the kinks ahead of the first race day, November 7.
In Valencia, the site of the last Americas Cup where several teams still maintain a base of operations, the four ACC boats that will be used for the racing in Nice have been set-up for the November regatta.
New J-Class Rainbow Begins Construction
Press Release: The J-Class Rainbow, designed by Dykstra & Partners for a repeat client, has started building at Bloemsma Aluminiumbouw. When the hull will be ready, Rainbow will be transported to be finished at Holland Jachtbouw (HJB). The re-build of this originally William Starling Burgess designed yacht will be under supervision of Dykstra & Partners Naval Architects, who also have been responsible for the re-builds and refits of the J-Class yachts: Shamrock V, Endeavour, Velsheda, Ranger and the soon to be sailing new J-Class Hanuman (Endeavour II project).
Teammates, Friends, Saddened by Loss
Paul Wellbank, a 37-year old trainer who had just recently been laid off by the BMW Oracle Racing team, died suddenly last week in Valencia. Police are said to have ruled out either foul-play or suicide as factors in his death.
Italy's Azzurra wins the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice after defeating Emirates Team New Zealand 2-0 in the Finals. ETNZ finishes second in the regatta.
BMW Oracle Presentation Day
James Spithill on sailing the beast: "We’ve sailed in up to 40 knots of wind speed –- not on purpose! We were out there one day and we got stuck in a squall. We had a little bit on, but we got through it and lived to tell the tale. We obviously learned a few things that day. These boats, though big and powerful, can be sailed in the higher wind speeds.”
Russell Coutts: “Everyone on the team is doing something that’s never been done before.”
Tuesday, August 11: BMW Oracle Racing, the challenger for the 33rd America's Cup, held an elaborate public and media event at the team's base in San Diego. Activities include formal presentations; discussions with Russell Coutts, Larry Ellison, and actor Harrison Ford; a boat parade that will include BOR 90 and a replica of 1851 Cup winner America; and the chance to see the giant trimaran in action. Diane Swintal was onsite for CupInfo to bring you reports on the festivities.
Larry Ellison, BMW Oracle: "We are pushing ourselves to our limit and we’re discovering what the boat can do and what we can do as a team. If we’ve done our job well, we’ll go out and race this boat and the win the America’s Cup." Read Press Release (pdf)
Portions of the presentation are available as a video re-broadcast from the BMW Oracle Racing web site
The main crew announcement so far is that James Spithill will be the primary helmsman for the match. The team also acknowledged that given the state of the rules, the demands of competition will eliminate eight onboard crew positions to be replaced by engine-driven equipment. The team plans to continue training in San Diego until mid-November.
America's Cup Veteran Still Winning
America's Cup Hall of Fame honoree Jack Sutphen, who competed throughout the 12-meter era from 1958 to 1987, is still winning races these days at the age of 91, more than 80 years after he first learned to sail. Sutphen raced against and helped train Cup winners like Bob Bavier and Dennis Conner, and has written a book recounting his yacht racing experiences, Messing About in Boats for 80 Years.
Winged Keel Custody Dispute Returns
Dutch Designer Claims His Role
Breaking decades of silence on the issue, Dutch yacht designer Peter van Oossanen has responded to recent discussion of the relative roles that he and his team played in the development of the winged keel used by Australia II in their historic 1983 winning America's Cup challenge. The naval architect is admitting that he and his team designed the famous keel. His claim is a response to recent defenses of Australia II designer Ben Lexcen, who died in 1988. Lexcen, by all accounts a brilliant inventor, is a national hero to Australians for his role in their America's Cup triumph.
The issue of keel-fathering has been explored (and argued) since the summer of '83, before AusII even met up with the defender Liberty and defeated her 4-3 in the match of the century, ending 132 years of America's Cup success for the US.
Articles in recent years have drawn out some degree of Dutch involvement, which was partially admitted and then denied in '83, but defining where the inspiration began (with Lexcen? with others?) and where the analysis took over and what constitutes "design" has always been difficult.
A recent letter diminishing the Dutch contribution apparently prompted van Oossanen, ironically now an Australian citizen, to re-declare his staff's role in public. Lexcen was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 2006, 18 years after his death, and for his part is unable now to provide his perspective, but Lexcen's passionate fans and friends are sure to stand up for him, too.
Does it matter now? Is the implication that Australia II violated the rules and could have or should have been disqualified from the match? Even if so, the New York YC largely perceived van Oossanen's involvement to be the case by the fall of '83, but at that point was in no position to call off the defense without damaging the reputation of the America's Cup.
Australia II won for reasons other than just the keel, though the radical design was sometimes an advantage in racing conditions. History won't exactly be re-written if more light is shed on the conception of Australia II, but at least it might become better understood.
Oossanen's presentation of the historical correspondence and
Scuttlebutt News: Remarkable Ben Lexcen
Guardian: "Success has many fathers," says John Bertrand, AII skipper, while calling Lexcen Australian Leonardo Da Vinci. Read more
Louis Vuitton Regattas Adds Origin and Azzurra
Britain's Team Origin will compete in the Louis Vuitton regatta to be held November 7-22 in Nice, France, the team announced October 5, and the team plans to compete in the LV series that will be held around the globe in 2010. Origin has also become a shareholder in the WSTA, the consortium of teams which controls the event. Read Team Announcement
Italy's Azzurra, representing YC Costa Smeralda, will also compete in the events, with crew announced Monday.
Updated October 7:
Louis Vuitton World Series Details
Plus four additional teams vying for the remaining two spots, Desafío Español likely to be one of the two.
The Independent reports that Team Origin's presence is doubtful. Story
Louis Vuitton World Series Announced
2009 Races Expected -- More in 2010
Press Release: Some of the best professional sailing teams, grouped together under the name WSTA (World Sailing Team Association), and Louis Vuitton, a key player in the world of top-level sailing for more than 25 years, today announced the creation of an international regatta circuit.
The WSTA (World Sailing Team Association) groups together the participants in previous Louis Vuitton Cup regattas (K-Challenge (France), BMW Oracle Racing (USA), Emirates Team New Zealand, Mascalzone Latino (Italy)) and welcomes newcomers such as Team Artemis (Sweden), Team Synergy (Russia), Joe Fly Italia (Italy) and Team French Spirit (France). Other teams will join the association in the coming weeks.
Entitled the Louis Vuitton World Series, these regattas are a first in the world of sailing and follow on from the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series organized in Auckland, New Zealand, last February. The global success of this exceptional competition persuaded all the partners in this adventure to create a dynamic and ambitious new race program based on the same concept and format.
Ten teams will be invited to confront each other in successive duels over a fortnight on two pairs of identical boats chosen by lot. The racing boats were sailed in the 2007 LV Cup. This concept, which demonstrates the desire to return to the original spirit of "match racing", provides an exhilarating show and is easy for spectators to understand.
The WSTA and Louis Vuitton plan to organize several regattas a year. Many cities of which Nice, Hong Kong, Auckland, New York and several other European venues have shown their interest.
A press conference will be held in Paris on Tuesday, September 8th. More details about the first events to be organized in 2009 and 2010 will be disclosed during this conference.
Alinghi America's Cup Catamaran Reported Damaged in Testing
The 90-foot extreme multi-hull built for the America's Cup defense and launched this summer by Alinghi is reported to have suffered damage while testing near Genoa, Italy, according to a report by sailing journalist Bob Fisher. Conditions are said to have been light weather and flat seas. No word yet on the nature of repairs.
AP Story says Alinghi is ahead of
schedule in preparations:
Alinghi Opens It Up at ESPN.com
Golden Gate YC Confirms BOR 90 Will Be Challenger Yacht
Golden Gate YC (GGYC), the Challenger for the America's Cup, publicly confirmed August 10 that the giant trimaran they have been testing and modifying will be the boat they race in the upcoming America's Cup match next February. There had been speculation that a second vessel was secretly in construction, to be revealed depending on the venue selection revealed by Defender SNG/Alinghi after last week's deadline. The confirmation regarding the trimaran came as an extended hearing Monday in the NY Supreme Court explored the practical requirements for the challenger to obtain and submit yacht registry information. The court has not issued a ruling yet, but discussion in court suggests the challenger is entitled to modify and develop their yacht prior to providing a registry certificate to the defender as well as after submitting the certificate provided that at the time of the match the challenging yacht conforms to GGYC's original Notice of Challenge.
Louis Vuitton Regattas Looking More Likely
From the NZ Herald: "As the America's Cup descends slowly into yet more court action, so the prospect of a Louis Vuitton world yachting series gathers pace -- and there could yet be a regatta in Europe later this year, followed by several more in 2010, including one in Auckland."
Alinghi Picks United Arab Emirates Location for America's Cup Defense
Ras al-Khaimah on the south end of the Persian Gulf is the location that the defender Alinghi has announced as the venue for the America's Cup match next February, with Fred Meyer, SNG Vice-Commodore, citing "...perfect weather and great sailing conditions for a match in February."
Sharp-eyed geographers will note that the UAE is located in the northern hemisphere, and that holding a match there in February is in apparent contradiction of the America's Cup 1887 Deed of Gift, which governs all matches. Defender Alinghi believes that an order of the New York State Supreme Court allows them to pick such a location, while challenger Golden Gate YC/BMW Oracle has previously stated that they believe the Deed requires a southern hemisphere venue unless the parties mutually agree otherwise. Likely the NY Supreme Court will be asked to clarify the issue.
Golden Gate YC
has issued a brief statement in response to this news: "Golden
Gate Yacht Club believes Société Nautique de Genève’s choice of
this venue, without our mutual consent, is contrary to the Deed
of Gift and the decisions and orders of the New York courts. We
are reviewing our options."
Alinghi Parades Catamaran on National Holiday
Court Rules Alinghi May Change Rules Surrounding the Defense -- Hearing To Determine "As Soon As Possible"
The New York Supreme Court has issued an order July 30 finding that there is no basis in the Deed of Gift to prevent the defender from re-writing the rules governing the upcoming Defense of the America's Cup after receiving a valid challenge.
A hearing will be held August 10 to allow both sides to extensively argue competing interpretations of the "as soon as possible" requirement for the challenger to provide a Custom House Registry of their challenging yacht.
Read the Court Order
Fred Meyer, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) Vice-Commodore:
"The judge's order also validates the agreement entered into by SNG with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), demonstrating that SNG is committed to returning the competition to the water where it belongs.
"We look forward to the 10 August hearing and to receiving the Golden Gate Yacht Club's Custom House Registry, which will enable Alinghi to properly prepare for its defense."
Golden Gate YC
"However, without racing rules 49-54, SNG is breaking with the longstanding history and tradition in yacht racing that prohibited the use of non-manual power. For the first time in the Cup’s history, engines will be permitted to trim the sails, and computers can be used to control and steer the yachts. This, we believe, is a sad day for the America’s Cup.
"While we are pleased with the design-rule certainty, we are disappointed that the Court has said that SNG can change the other racing rules at any time up to the start of the Match. We do not believe this is what the Deed says, nor what the donors intended, and are currently reviewing our options in this regard.
"We are pleased that Justice Kornreich has ordered SNG to provide us the secret agreement SNG entered into with ISAF. We look forward to the hearing on August 10 to clear the air on the CHR matter.
"We are confident we can demonstrate to the Court when it 'would be practicable for [GGYC] to provide a CHR.'"
Court Hearing Takes Place: Effect on Competition Still Being Determined
Alinghi: "It's good that Justice Kornreich denied the Golden Gate Yacht Club's (GGYC) request to hold the America's Cup defending yacht club, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), in contempt of court..."
Golden Gate YC: "The Court reserved her decision whether an engine and moveable ballast can be used. Justice Kornreich understood that we need to know the rules before we can complete our challenging vessel and then submit our Custom House Registry (CHR)."
Justice Kornreich did yet not issue a ruling, but directed the parties to resume mediation attempts. Where the advantages were gained today is hard to determine conclusively, but Alinghi so far avoided consequences for their secret rules changes while BMW Oracle appears not to face any arbitrary deadlines for submitting their yacht's registration certificate. Kornreich is likely to review matters and issue further instruction within the next 14 days.
Cory E. Friedman:
Contempt of Court Charges Launched
"Collusive Secrecy" Alleged Between Defender and ISAF
Golden Gate YC has sought the help of the New York State Supreme Court in regard to issues surrounding the new yacht unveiled by Alinghi, representing SNG, which the defending Swiss club is likely to use in the America's Cup match expected for next February.
GGYC contends in their statement that Alinghi's boat incorporates power assistance that apparently violates the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) rules that GGYC themselves has had to follow, and that Alinghi has in secret made provisions to improperly modify ISAF rules that should normally apply in this strict Deed of Gift America's Cup match.
Further, the challenger alleges that SNG has made large monetary payments to ISAF while making secret agreements, violating sporting principles and compromising the defender's role proscribed in the Deed of Gift. A hearing on the Contempt of Court filing is scheduled for July 21.
Read GGYC Statement (pdf)
Alinghi Responds: "It is again a disappointment that the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) chooses to pursue its litigious strategy instead of fighting for the America's Cup on the water." Read Alinghi statement
Alinghi Launches Cat by Helo
Alinghi 5, the defender's new 90-foot catamaran, was launched by helicopter Wednesday afternoon in Switzerland.
BMW Oracle Shows Renewed Giant Tri
monster trimaran rolls out with modifications in San Diego, July
6. New bow shapes are the most obvious differences, but
there are others. Click image above to enlarge and
see more photos.
Alinghi Shows New Giant Cat
Rolf Vrolijk, Chief Designer: For the moment we have pushed the envelope as much as we would like, this boat is really a base for further development and over the coming weeks we will collect as much information as we can and cross check it with the predictions, this will help us assess what level we are at and then to optimize from there. We have several opportunities and possibilities to change the concept but first we need a solid base to do our studies from.
who worked on the Stars&Stripes America's Cup
defender in 1988 and the Little America's Cup rocketship
Cogito, explores optimizing catamaran design trade-offs for
the expected racing conditions:
It's a Cat: Alinghi Nears Launch
Stuart Alexander in The Independent reports a helicopter lift July 8 will launch the giant Swiss multi-hull that Alinghi is expected to use to defend the America's Cup. Photos confirm a catamaran design for the nearly complete race boat.
Meetings Afoot to Put Boats Back on Water
Discussions that include ETNZ, BMW Oracle, Alinghi, and ... Bruno Troublé have been taking place recently, according to Stuart Alexander. Also included are representatives of British, French, and Italian teams. The goal? Resurrect racing for would-be America's Cup teams, possibly along the lines of last February's well-received Louis Vuitton Pacific Series.
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