Yes, they're back in court and once again the waiting continues

Confused, disheartened or simply bored by the latest round of America’s Cup bickering? You’re not alone, when the news broke that the squabbling pair were heading back to court you could almost hear the collective sign in sailing cyberpsace.

Yet this particular legal argument, for which we will have to wait another couple of weeks for the outcome, concerns the most basic of issues, the rules. In particular, sailing rules 49 to 54.

Put simply, Alinghi and the SNG believe that powered systems and moveable ballast should be allowed aboard their monster multi. BMW Oracle and the GGYC disagree.

Given how important this issue is it’s hardly surprising that BMW Oracle has been so reluctant to issue the Custom House Registry, essentially a document that defines the boat that they intend to race come the event, should we ever get there. No point in doing this before you know the rules.

Yesterday, (Tue 21 July) saw lawyers for the two teams head back into the courts. All that really counts at present is that Justice Kornreich will come back with a decision in a few weeks. But here’s how each side saw the day’s proceedings.

* Alinghi’s Brad Butterworth: “It’s good that Justice Kornreich denied the Golden Gate Yacht Club’s (GGYC) request to hold the America’s Cup defending yacht club, Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG), in contempt of court, but it doesn’t come as a surprise because there were no grounds for such an action.

Justice Kornreich showed a great deal of knowledge of the file and the case and while she reserved her decision, she made it crystal clear that the provisions of the Deed of Gift put no restriction on yacht design. She also asked both sides to return to the mediation that the GGYC halted with this new litigation attempt.

We are ready and willing to continue discussions with them and will work on providing clarity with regards the 33rd America’s Cup as far as rules and measurement procedures go; always within the framework of the Deed of Gift and SNG’s rules. We are determined to get the competition on the water and out of the courtroom once and for all.”

* GGYC’s statement: We are pleased that the Court will provide clarity on the rules before we complete our challenging vessel for America’s Cup 33.

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).

The Defender was compelled to turn over to the Court the secret agreement with International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

On questioning from the Court, Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) agreed to return to mediation, a process we have supported throughout our challenge.

We look forward to Justice Kornreich’s decision in the next few weeks, and to racing for the America’s Cup in February 2010.