Société Nautique de Genève request that Supreme Court Justice determine dates for event 27/3/08

In a bid to accelerate the process of returning the 33rd America’s Cup to the water, the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) has requested Justice Cahn determine its dates.

This decision comes following an unsuccessful meeting on Wednesday between representatives from the SNG and the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC). SNG filed a letter with the New York Supreme Court requesting a hearing to determine the date for the 33rd America’s Cup Match that honours the 10-month notice period stipulated in the Deed of Gift and takes into account the GGYC’s prior agreement that this notice period would be tolled pending Court proceedings.

“Larry Ellison wants the America’s Cup, but he doesn’t seem to be prepared to win it through a competitive regatta on the water,” declared Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi president (left).

“Through his actions he has successfully eliminated 12 entered teams, destroyed plans for a 2009 multi-challenge event in Valencia and through the legal system has guaranteed himself a place in the America’s Cup Match, something he has never before achieved on the water. Now Larry Ellison seeks to win the America’s Cup through its legal strategy rather than racing Alinghi on the water. GGYC continues to mislead SNG: it had agreed to suspend the 10-month notice period for the duration of the legal proceedings, however now wants to force us to race in a timeframe that won’t allow SNG to prepare its defence or an event that will satisfy Cup enthusiasts.”

The nature of the request to Justice Cahn for a 2009 Match is detailed in the letter sent to Justice Cahn ( click here ).

The failed negotiations in Geneva prompted Team New Zealand, one of four countries that have held the prestigious trophy, to call for Bertarelli to forfeit the cup immediately and let Oracle hold a conventional event with multiple challengers in 2010.

New Zealand leader Grant Dalton said: “Alinghi has had as much time to design and build a multihull as BMW Oracle. It is apparent that Alinghi was so certain of a victory in the New York Supreme Court that it had not developed a viable contingency should the judge rule in BMW Oracle’s favour. Having admitted that they cannot be ready by October, we believe that Alinghi should forfeit right now, allowing BMW Oracle and the other challengers to get the America’s Cup back on track and minimizing continuing financial hardship that [Alinghi] created,” added Dalton, whose syndicate has sued Alinghi for monetary damages allegedly caused when Alinghi unilaterally cancelled the America’s Cup planned for 2009.

Tom Ehman from BMW Oracle explained, “Alinghi told us they can’t build a boat by next October. But back in December Ernesto told a newspaper that they were already working on one. It could be that they are using the Br’er rabbit strategy -please don’t throw me in the briar patch. The Swiss are great sailors with a lot of experience in multihulls, more than we have. They say that they need more time, but back in 1988 Dennis Conner built two catamarans in six months, and the technology has certainly improved a lot since then.”

“I think that they now understand that we pick the date, they pick the place. It’s time to stop stalling and get on the water and race,” Ehman concluded.