Is this why BMW Oracle has been so reluctant to provide details of the boat they intend to challenge in?


Surprise, surprise, it turns out that BMW Oracle does not intend to use the monster trimaran that has been so widely reported on for the 33rd America’s Cup. At a recent press conference in Valencia Russell Coutts and Tom Ehman announced that it will be another yacht, that has yet to be named or numbered, that will face Alinghi next February.

The news would appear to confirm why the American team has; a) been happy to parade the giant tri around in front of some long lenses and b) why it has held back in supplying the customs house registry document, the piece of paper that confirms what boat will be used for the challenge.

It is no surprise that there are no further details on what Coutts’ team’s boat might look like although it’s yacht club seems keen to point to what they think Alinghi might be planning to use and their objections to it.

In a letter from the GGYC to the SNG, commodore Marcus Young states that, “We assert that the Deed does not permit you to race a two-masted yacht, given that our Challenge Certificate describes a single-masted yacht.”

The comment refers to a clause in the Deed of Gift (see below) whereby a boat over 80ft shall have two masts, which some have suggested Alinghi might be busy building.

And then there’s the issue of the venue, Alinghi’s trump card.

The GGYC’s interpretation of recent events in court suggests that the regatta can either take place in Valencia if it is to be a northern hemisphere event, or anywhere else if in the southern hemisphere. Having said that, Commodore Young does add that, “We are, however, willing to negotiate with you alternative Northern Hemisphere locations for the February 2010 Match.”

The SNG wasn’t impressed and in a letter to GGYC said, “SNG is entitled to select Valencia “or any other location” for the next Cup, which means any Northern or Southern Hemisphere venue. We draw you attention to the fact that any wrong declaration you may make will create uncertainty, will jeopardize SNG efforts to select a proper venue in the Northern Hemisphere and will create a significant material damage to the America’s Cup trust.”

Before rounding off its correspondence with a clear warning to Coutts and Ehman.

“If GGYC, Mr Coutts and Mr Ehman do not stop their efforts to impair SNG’s ability to host the next Cup and therefore cause a damage to the America’s Cup trust, SNG will hold each of them directly and personally responsible for the consequences arising thereof.”

Any notion that the recent court action had cleared the air seems to have gone for a ball of chalk.

Sounds like more grounds for squabbles to me.

DEED OF GIFT CLAUSE – “The competing yachts or vessels, if of one mast, shall be not less than forty-four feet nor more than ninety feet on the load water-line; if of more than one mast they shall be not less than eighty feet nor more than one hundred and fifteen feet on the load water-line.”