Brad Butterworth has released a statement following the breakdown of talks between Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing
On his return to Valencia, Brad Butterworth, Alinghi team skipper and representative at the recent Singapore meetings with BMW Oracle, made his comments on what happened:
“We had a meeting with BMW Oracle representatives from 09:00 SGT on Tuesday 12 January until 20:00 that night and agreed to reconvene the next morning to continue as there were a lot of issues that we had agreed on but a few that were holding us apart. We agreed before the ISAF representative, David Kellett, and the ISAF AC Jury chairman, David Tillett, to have a media blackout and to do nothing that would jeopardise the discussions until we had had sufficient time the following day to talk these remaining issues through. As it happened, we all ended up having dinner together and continued the discussions, which concluded that night with a gentleman’s agreement.
When we reconvened at 09:30 the next morning (Wednesday 13) and the meeting was brought to order by Tillett, Tom Ehman – on behalf of BMW Oracle – instructed us that court proceedings had been filed in New York overnight and that they were sending a media release. At this stage the relationship between the two teams soured dramatically, but despite this surprising development, the ISAF representatives encouraged us to take the agreement back to the team principals which I agreed to do.
The meeting ended and the ISAF guys left for the airport. During the course of the afternoon, I was initially instructed that BMW Oracle were keen to sign the deal, but by the time I got hold of the guys in Valencia to discuss it, Oracle had withdrawn from the agreement.”