GGYC and SNG representatives remain at a stalemate following talks in Switzerland 26/3/08

Earlier today America’s Cup defender Alinghi met with BMW Oracle Racing in Geneva to discuss a possible date for the 33rd America’s Cup match race ( see previous story here ). Following the meeting, representatives from both camps commented.

Tom Ehman, Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) spokesman, who attended the meeting with Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW Oracle Racing, said there had been a cordial exchange of views. They did not wish to disclose details of the discussion at this stage, but admitted that they remain focused on moving the issue forward quickly.

“We remain strongly of the view that the rules on the timing of the event are quite clear. The sooner we race the Deed of Gift match the sooner we can all get the America’s Cup back on track,” Ehman said. “We want to move this process forward quickly, and expect to confirm next steps shortly.”

Lucien Masmejan, lead counsel for the defending yacht club, said: “Despite having had great hopes for today’s meeting with GGYC, we were very disappointed with the outcome. GGYC adopted the same approach that it took last year coming to the meeting with a fixed position rather than to discuss and find a resolution in accordance with Justice Cahn’s Order.”

“We are particularly frustrated by the GGYC’s assertion that the agreement made in front of Justice Cahn to ‘toll the case’ so that the Defender would have 10 months notice as per the Deed of Gift no longer applies and that racing should take place in October 2008.”

GGYC confirmed that it has already started building its boat for the America’s Cup Match and stated that SNG had time to build a boat by October 2008. Should this not prove possible, GGYC suggested SNG compete in an existing boat instead.

“This clearly is an extension of the GGYC’s strategy to win the America’s Cup at all costs,” Masmejan continued, as it would guarantee an absurdly miss-matched race – precisely the opposite of the racing that we have come to expect from the America’s Cup.

“We remain committed to trying to move the fight from the court room back to the water but the actions of GGYC are making this extremely difficult to achieve. GGYC has successfully guaranteed itself entry via the Courts to the America’s Cup Match for the first time, despite its strong statements that its legal action was for the benefit of all Challengers. We will use all avenues open to us to ensure that they are forced to compete in a competitive race in the spirit and tradition of the America’s Cup.”