Société Nautique de Genève puts its case to the Appellate Division in New York 6/6/08

The Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG), the America’s Cup Defender, today put its case to the five judges sitting in the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court. The Swiss yacht club successfully consolidated its appeal from Justice Cahn’s 12 May 2008 order with the previously expedited 14 April 2008 appeal. Now it continues to wish for a speedy resolution and to conclude the litigation initiated by the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) almost a year ago.

Justices David Saxe, Eugene Nardelli, Karla Moskowitz, Rolando Acosta and Leland DeGrasse granted approx 30 minutes for the oral arguments from both SNG and GGYC. This was the last opportunity for either party to present their merits to the Court and a ruling is expected in a reasonably short time.

Lucien Masmejan, SNG lead counsel, comments: “We were pleased to have our arguments heard by the Appellate Court regarding the validity of the GGYC Challenge while simultaneously seeking clarification on the date and venue for the 33rd America’s Cup. Justice Cahn’s orders left several issues unresolved and we hope that our position can now be sustained by the Appellate Court. The Justices presiding over the case seemed receptive and we look forward to receiving their judgment. We are hopeful that by consolidating our appeals and achieving the expedited status, unnecessary delays will be minimised. We are looking forward to finally putting an end to the disruption brought to the America’s Cup by BMW Oracle Racing’s opportunistic legal strategy.”

The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) said it was very pleased with today’s hearing before the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court and looked forward to an expedited decision that would enable the next America’s Cup match to be held as soon as possible.

“Like nearly everyone in the sailing community we look forward to the court process now being resolved quickly, hopefully before the end of June, and having the next America’s Cup match as soon as possible,” Tom Ehman, the club’s spokesman said.

Ehman said the Court clearly had a good grasp of the issues, and had tough questions for Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG’s) counsel. GGYC welcomed the Court’s questions about the key points at stake.

Today’s hearing was held after the Cup defender, SNG/ Alinghi, lodged an appeal to overturn the decisions by Justice Herman Cahn in the New York State Supreme Court that declared GGYC the valid challenger for the Cup. SNG/Alinghi also appealed against Justice Cahn’s ruling that the match should go ahead in March 2009, asking for more delay. Under the Cup’s rules the defender is entitled to ten months notice. SNG/Alinghi are seeking more than 22 months notice since GGYC’s challenge was filed in July 2007.

“The arguments put forward by SNG/Alinghi today were no different than the ones put before Justice Cahn, which he rejected,” Ehman said. “We are confident in our position as Challenger of Record, and we look forward to going racing without any further delay.”