Hopes that the remaining issues would be resolved have been dashed
Talks between representatives from Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing held in Singapore on Monday and Tuesday this week were expected to provide resolution to some of the key remaining issues. But after talks broke down, the fate of the 33rd America’s Cup that is due to take place from 8 Feb 2010 hangs in the balance once again.
The following are the statements from either side.
Analysis – racing editor Matthew Sheahan tries to make sense of the latest squabble.
Russell Coutts, CEO BMW ORACLE Racing
Valencia January 13, 2010 – Talks in Singapore to settle major issues ahead of the 33rd America’s Cup have broken up. No mutual agreement was reached.
“This is very disappointing and frustrating,” commented Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing.
“On three separate occasions during the two days talks there was a final draft of an agreement. GGYC was ready to sign. SNG’s negotiators were prepared to sign, but it seems they were not given permission.”
GGYC would like to thank the negotiating teams – Tom Ehman and Richard Slater for GGYC and Brad Butterworth and Hamish Ross for SNG – for their tireless efforts to reach a solution.
GGYC is also grateful to International Sailing Federation’s representative David Kellett and the chairman of the International Jury for the 33rd Match for their helpful involvement in the search for a settlement.
Geneva, Switzerland – (2010-01-13)
While Brad Butterworth, Alinghi skipper and Société Nautique de Genève representative, was in Singapore engaged in good faith discussions to resolve remaining issues ahead of the 8 February America’s Cup Deed of Gift Match in the presence of David Tillett, the chairman of the ISAF America’s Cup Jury, and David Kellett, the ISAF representative, BMW Oracle unilaterally aborted talks by filing their ninth lawsuit against the Société Nautique de Genève at the New York Supreme Court seeking to disqualify the Defender from the upcoming Match.
“BMW Oracle has already successfully disqualified 18 teams through the US courts to gain access to the Match, now they are seeking to win the Cup without ever racing for it,” said Brad Butterworth. “This latest lawsuit has come as a shock given we were planning a further meeting to finalise discussions today, it demonstrates extreme bad faith. Clearly they are not ready to race. They have completely disregarded the jurisdiction of the ISAF America’s Cup Jury, which they sought so hard to have instated, and have instead reverted to the New York courts where they clearly feel they have a greater chance of success,” he added.
SNG’s defending yacht has been constructed in Switzerland in compliance with the provision of the Deed of Gift. SNG disagrees with GGYC’s interpretation.
BMW Oracle’s statement that Alinghi will be using USA-made sails is wrong. The sails for the Match have been constructed in a sail loft in Villeneuve, Switzerland. Furthermore, the 3DL process of making sails is subject to Swiss intellectual property rights. The inventors of the process, Jean-Pierre Baudet and Luc Dubois, are two Swiss engineers. Every challenger and defender for the America’s Cup since 1995 has used 3DL Swiss technology based sails.
“BMW Oracle’s attempt to derail the America’s Cup, and disregard ISAF’s jurisdiction, and their continued unsportsmanlike behaviour is unacceptable,” said Fred Meyer, SNG vice-commodore. “Alinghi is ready to race on the 8 February as mandated by the 7 April 2009 court order,” he added. “We won the right to defend the America’s Cup on the water by winning the 31st and 32nd editions, we want to go racing, we do not want the outcome of the America’s Cup determined in court,” he concluded.