CupInfo: 2010 America's Cup Defense
Race Dates: Schedule


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America's Cup 2010 Dates: The 33rd Defense

Also See: Television and Internet Schedule

The America's Cup Match 2010:

Best of Three Series
(First to win two races wins the match)

Original Schedule:

Race 1:  Monday, February 8

Race 2:  Wednesday, February 10

Race 3: (if needed) Friday, February 12.

Reserve Days:
The most recent version of the Notice of Race proposes using alternating days beginning with February 14 as reserve days, as needed.  The teams have reportedly agreed on Feb 10 that in case a race on a reserve day does not start, the next scheduled race start will be after one intervening day has passed, which would be in keeping with the Deed of Gift.

Race Times:
Scheduled starting times are 10:00 am (warning signal, 6 minutes to start signal, 10:06 am start gun), conditions permitting.  10:00 am CET in Valencia is 4:00 am EST, 1:00 am PST, in the US.   Races may not start before 8:00am or after 4:30pm, Valencia time (CET).  On several days, depending on expected conditions, the Race Committee has announced on the prior day that race start will postponed by at least two hours.  Please check CupInfo front page for specific race times.

Weather Conditions:
Weather limits at the discretion of the Principal Race Officer (PRO), according to International Jury decision. 

The Jury decision overruled the Defender's intent to light wind and sea conditions that might favor their boat over the Challenger.  The Defender had declared an upper wind limit of 15 knots (measured at 60m elevation), roughly equivalent to 10-11 knots at the 10m height at which wind measurements are normally taken.  Declared upper limit for wave height was 1m.  Initial analysis of the 15 kt limit suggests that typical February conditions in Valencia have about 50% chance of allowing a start with these limits.  

Fro Reference: Regatta Docs as Amended
Notice of Race (pdf)
Sailing Instructions (pdf)

Current Schedule:
Race Days in White
- Rest Days/Abandoned Races in Gray

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Race 1
Feb-14 Race 2 Feb-15
Race 3

Dates subject to change - See Note below

The designated official measurement period is February 1 to February 6, in Valencia.  Both challenging and defending yachts are to be presented for measurement.

Why February 8th?
The New York State Supreme Court set the date 10 months from the date of the final decision determining the rightful challenger for the America's Cup.  For more detail See below

Note: Pending court proceedings which could have altered the dates won't be heard until February 25, after the scheduled start of the match.  Decisions made by the America's Cup International Jury on February 2 appear to have cleared the way for racing.

Looking Back? See 2007 America's Cup Schedules

Why Those Dates:
Details of how the dates of the America's Cup Match were determined:

The dates of the match were originally named as July 4, 6, and 8, 2008 in Golden Gate YC's Notice of Challenge, delivered July 11, 2007.  A court case ensued to establish the challenger.

Per the 1887 Deed of Gift governing the America's Cup, the Defender is entitled to 10 months before the racing begins.  When the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, confirmed GGYC and BMW Oracle as the rightful challenger on April 7, 2009, the court reinstated an earlier court order setting the date 10 months from the final decision in the case, or the next weekday if that date fell on a Sunday or national holiday. 

This 10-month leap would be February 7, 2010, a Sunday, making February 8th the first possible day for the first race.

Contemplating a northern hemisphere location for the defense, which the Deed appears to prohibit between November 1 and May 1, Alinghi's position was that as a result the racing should shift to early May.  Golden Gate YC and BMW Oracle disputed extending the date, which would give the defender more preparation time than entitled, and instead suggested that the venue would be required to be in the southern hemisphere unless the parties agreed otherwise.

The parties returned to court, and the NY State Supreme Court confirmed on May 14, 2009, that the dates remain as constructed from the original order and the final appeal decision, meaning the match is in February, 2010, unless otherwise mutually agreed by the Defender and Challenger.

The court also set a deadline of six months prior to the race for the Defender to announce their selected location for the match, that date being August 8, 2009.  Two days before that, on August 6th, Alinghi announced Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, as the site for the races.  After studying the location, the challenger raised several objections to this location, eventually filing a legal motion against RAK as the venue.  In a hearing October 27, 2009, the New York Supreme Court ruled that the location of the match must conform with both the Deed of Gift and the Court Order, and that applying that combination of rules required either Valencia, Spain, or a southern hemisphere location for a February date unless the parties could reach further mutual agreement.

So, after October 27, 2009, and barring mutual consent, the defender had to select either a southern hemisphere location (to conform with the Deed of Gift) or by the court order (which inferred that the parties had both previously consented to Valencia) the defender could also select Valencia.

SNG/Alinghi on November 10, 2009, named Valencia as the location for the defense in their Notice of Race (NOR), but also appealed the NYSC decision rejecting RAK.  A hearing took place in late November, 2009, and on December 15, 2009, the New York Appellate Court unanimously denied the appeal, ruling out RAK apparently for good.  On December 15, SNG's Commodore released a statement that "SNG accepts this decision and Alinghi is looking forward to racing for the America's Cup on the water in Valencia, Spain, in February 2010."

Alinghi had suggested that if they won their appeal, they would move the designated location back to the middle east.  The practicalities of transporting and preparing the yachts, however, would have left a rapidly closing window for continuing to wrestle over the venue before the February 8th race date.

Implications for Future Defenses?
The potential precedent that could have been set by holding the match proposed in RAK in February was of concern to some members of the America's Cup community.  A northern hemisphere match in the northern hemisphere winter would normally conflict with the Deed of Gift, not to mention that it might conflict with finding reasonable sailing conditions for a future defender wishing to race in their home waters.  It is likely that the mechanism that produced the February date in RAK was unique to this set of circumstances, and no precedent for racing in the "wrong" hemisphere would have been established, but how a future defender would have been able to resolve a potential challenger's proposed winter dates within the other requirements of the Deed absent reaching mutual consent with the challenger was unclear.

Please note that all dates on this page are set at the order of the NY Supreme Court, and subject to the discretion of the competitors could be changed.  They are reported here as we believe to be accurate, but are subject to change or correction at any time.  Please confirm all dates before making travel or other arrangements.


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