The long awaited appeal hearing in New York took place earlier today, what were the team's views? Matthew Sheahan reports
The outcome of what should be the final appeal hearing in the long and bitter dispute between the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) and Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) took place on Tuesday 10 Feb. Shortly after the appeal hearing had been completed both sides issued statements.
For the GGYC represented by BMW Oracle Racing, the response was brief and to the point, a simple, no-fuss stance that the club has taken for many months.
‘BMW ORACLE Racing sailing team leaders John Kostecki (USA) and James Spithill (AUS) attended today’s oral arguments before the New York State Court of Appeals, which is expected to rule on the future of the America’s Cup by the end of March. Following the court hearing, Kostecki said, “Golden Gate and our racing team expect to win. We look forward to a negotiation with SNG for a multi-challenger America’s Cup 33 and getting back on the water as soon as possible.”
Of interest here is the re-iteration that what the GGYC wants in the first instance is a multi challenger event, despite the common perception that it favours only a multi-hull deed of gift style match. This may well be where the event ends up, but GGYC have been keen to drive home the message recently that this is not their first option.
When asked whether Société Nautique de Genève and Alinghi would entertain the idea of negotiating such a regatta, (which no doubt suit many of the current challengers), Alinghi’s head, Ernesto Bertarelli said at a press conference in Auckland a few days before the hearing, “Whatever happens in the court case in New York, we will still be the Defender and [if they win the case] they will be the Challenger of Record.”
Would this mean that there would be further dispute? Both sides would have to negotiate how the event would be run. Given the pair’s current track record on negotiation, a return to square one sounded more likely.
Meanwhile the SNG’s statement read as follow:
‘Today’s hearing marked the last step in this long legal journey instigated by the Golden Gate Yacht Club. We are confident that the Court of Appeals will render a final decision which will permit the Defender Alinghi, the legitimate Challenger of Record Club Náutico Español de Vela, and the 17 other challengers from 11 countries to move forward with the 33rd America’s Cup.
‘It’s finally time to get the America’s Cup back on the water, where victory is pursued and not in the courtroom. We have demonstrated to the court that the America’s Cup community is united through a democratic process that has established rules and has created a new class of race yacht. We expect the Court of Appeals to reaffirm the previous decision that favours an exciting and competitive multi-challenge America’s Cup with 19 competitors in 2009 and 2010, instead of forcing a multi-hull match between just two competitors.”
A verdict is expected towards the end of March.