The latest court action has raised the first signs of doubt as to whether the event will happen in Feb 2010

The America’s Cup guessing game continues with the latest court hearing providing the first indication that perhaps February will not be the date of the 33rd America’s Cup. Perhaps Valencia won’t be the location either.

The New York Court hearing (on Wed 25 Nov) was primarily to hear evidence to support The America’s Cup Defender, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG)’s appeal against the ruling that invalidated Ras Al Khaimah as a location for the 33rd America’s Cup. The SNG also sought to have the rules on waterline length measurement reinstated which, according to BMW Oracle would ‘disqualify’ its boat.

No one was expecting a ruling from the bench, but few were expecting the SNG to make the first move towards suggesting a delay to May 2010 for the 33rd Cup Match either.

According to a statement from the GGYC, (Alinghi’s statement didn’t mention it), the SNG claimed in court that if it was forced to drop Ras Al Khaimah as a venue, then it needed more time to find a Deed of Gift compliant Northern hemisphere venue. This in itself will no doubt confuse those who thought that Valencia was the agreed Northern hemisphere venue.

The SNG’s stance continues to be that it believes that Justice Cahn’s 12 May 2008 New York Supreme Court Order, ‘that the location of the match shall be in Valencia, Spain, or any other location selected by the SNG,’ means just that, ANY other location.

So, despite having had the United Arab Emirates, Valencia and Australia suggested as possible venues and having had the pressure of time bearing down on both teams, we seem none the wiser as to when and where the next Cup will be.

To add to the confusion, no one seems to know how long the court will take to make its judgement.

But the really worrying fact is that we haven’t even got to the issue of the Notice of Race and how the event, wherever and whenever it will take place, will be conducted.

Update 27 Nov 09 – Following this story, Alinghi point out that the reason for suggesting May would be to make RAK Deed of Gift compliant, [by moving the event into the northern hemisphere window for a Cup match]. The team also states that if it loses its appeal it will race in Valencia.