America's Cup News: 1st and 2nd Quarter 2009ï»¿
|Selected Archive of News Stories and Features:|
Jun 23: New America's Cup-related race series may be announced
soon, similar to Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, according
to Richard Gladwell:
Jun 17: Alinghi reveals little about giant new race yacht for the America's Cup defense: "It's quite unusual and we are trying to keep it a secret as long as we can. We are hoping to stop our opponents from seeing it and reacting to it". July is still the expected date for a launch: Story at CNN.com plus link to short video
May 31: Layoffs at BMW Oracle Racing:
May 29: Spanish America's Cup team Desafío Español is reported to be breaking up, according to a report at Agence France-Presse
May 27: Interview with veteran America's Cup photographer Carlo Borlenghi: Offshorerules.com
May 27: Cameron Appleton leads Cup skippers Paul Cayard, Dean Barker, Karol Jablonski, and Rod Davis at RC44 Austria Cup
May 19: Transcript of May 14 court hearing provides guide to what
happened and road ahead. SNG's attorney says that they are
committed to a northern hemisphere race:
May 18: Meteorologist Chris Bedford takes a look at what
conditions might prevail for a February America's Cup defense
in Valencia, if it came to be:
May 15: Britain's Team Origin scales back operations
with 33rd Defense pending. "There is no point burning
through cash and just hanging around."
May 14: Alinghi promises new boat "three times as big and four
times as fast" as their 2007 mono-hull, launching this July:
May 11: Italian YC Circolo Vela Gargnano Notice of Challenge
names 90'x90' yacht. Under terms of the Deed of Gift,
Alinghi may not accept a second challenge:
May 7: Russell Coutts says he's unlikely to skipper Golden Gate's
giant multi-hull in the upcoming America's Cup match (1:47
May 7: More letters exchanged between SNG and GGYC at
May 6: In a follow-on to discussions of Custom-House Registry and
the Deed of Gift, Richard Gladwell at Sail-World has posted a
selection of writings by George Schuyler illustrating his
interpretation of fairness between challenger and defender
when it comes to information exchange:
May 6: Alinghi
asks GGYC to meet again before court date. Also, see
new SNG legal documents:
May 5: Cat season: Décision 35: Alinghi launches training on Lake Geneva. See video at Alinghi site (offline). Extreme 40's on the River Seine: BMW Oracle joins iShares Cup launch at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
May 4: For review in light of recent events, read for yourself
Mercury Bay Boating Club's Custom-House Registry and
Notice of Challenge from 1988:
May 1: Correction:
Valencia Sailing initially reported that Alinghi filed a
motion Friday to disqualify Golden Gate YC's legal counsel.
The story has been updated, and according to Alinghi the motion
is actually intended to disqualify GGYC:
April 30: America's Cup Hall of Fame Dinner coming
Thursday at New York YC.
John Longley (Australia II), filmmaker
John Biddle, and sailmaker
Thomas Ratsey are this year's inductees:
Seeking profits, the world's leading auto racing series, Formula
One, adopts spending caps. Is this restriction
a model for the America's Cup? Or a cautionary tale best
April 30: Alinghi announces D35 2-boat
multi-hull program for 2009:
April 17: Stalking mutual consent: SNG-GGYC meeting is on
for April 23:
April 15: Alinghi and BMW Oracle to talk, discuss, seek mutual
consent. The two possibly will meet next week :
April 1: Alinghi schedules two 2009 pre-regattas. One July
10-19 and another set for October, both in Valencia:
March 9: New J-Class yacht based on the lines of
Endeavour II is launched:
March 6: eBay watchers have a chance to bid on a piece of
history, a starters flag from the last J-Class America's Cup
match ever sailed:
March 2: Dave
Pedrick named Technical Director, Arbitration Panel
Feb 27: Putting
the pro in PRO, interview with Peter Reggio: "Well, you
are always going to have people who find fault in what you do
because it doesn’t suit their finishing position":
Feb 9: New
J-Class yacht under construction, based on 1936 Tore Holm
Feb 4: Jim
Thorpe (Courageous 1977, 1974) passes away.
Remembrances and tributes:
Jan 21: Alinghi
signs ODLO as team clothing supplier:
Jan 15: Teams
meet in Valencia, continue to work on 2009-2010 event
schedule; new AC class rule due by end of January:
Jan 10: America's
Cup Hall of Fame inductees to be honored in rescheduled
ceremonial dinner coming in April:
Jan 1: The
Aussies -- they were the first to win the Cup, but where is the
love affair now? Why is Australia no longer an America's
Cup competitor? Australia II crew members point to
Dec 31: Letter
from Vincenzo Onorato who takes
offense at the treatment of his team, his city, and himself:
Amended protocol revealed:
Dec 13: Louis
Vuitton Pacific Series could shrink to eight teams in the
face of sponsorship pullback:
Dec 13: So what
is it the Swiss team is afraid of? "Well, I think they're
afraid of Russell Coutts", says Ellison:
Dec 13: Brad
Butterworth, Alinghi Skipper, comments on the competitors
meeting held this week. Video at:
Dec 12: Names of
20 entries for the next America's Cup. Modified
protocol rules to be revealed next week after challenge deadline
Monday December 15:
Dec 10: At the
WYRF: Paul Cayard:
We need a better
administration, with fair rules. I am convinced that we can
modify the Protocol and yet perpetuate the spirit of the event.
The mechanism set by Americas Cup Management is great; however
this body should not belong to one of the competitors:
Dec 9: AP story
IHT: "There's no chance we will agree to the set of rules
that Alinghi currently has on the table. No way,"
Ellison told The Associated Press .... "This is what's really
funny -- they want us to agree to this set of rules, but they
won't tell us what the rules are, which is typical of Ernesto,"
Ellison said. "It's crazy":
Zerogradinord is reporting that Luna Rossa has submitted
its entry for the America's Cup:
Dec 9: Brad Butterworth (Alinghi), Alessandra Pandarese (Mascalzone), Paul Cayard (Desafío Español), Tom Ehman (BMW Oracle) and others to speak at World Yacht Racing Forum this week in Monaco.
Dec 5: New York
Times interviews Larry Ellison: "And I put this all on Ernesto’s
doorstep because he created this ridiculous bogus yacht club
and because they had these horribly one-sided rules where
only Ernesto had a chance to win, and we sued as a response":
Dec 5: BMW Oracle
offers to drop court case if changes are agreed:
Dec 5: Golden
Gate YC files Court of Appeals Reply Brief:
Dec 4: Revised
America's Cup Protocol to be revealed after entry deadline
Seahorse Magazine interviews Tom Schnackenberg of Alinghi
about the new new AC Class Rule: "We are planning to
publish the rule in January allowing just enough time to study
it, design and build a boat, and work it up to race in 2010 in
the trials and Match. I am hoping we can produce the final
draft before Christmas":
Representatives of America's Cup Challenger Golden Gate YC and BMW Oracle made presentations and spoke with the media Thursday, May 21, in Valencia. Tom Ehman and Russell Coutts outlined their understanding of the terms of the defense and the obligations and restrictions placed on both teams. Also mentioned was that construction on BMW Oracle's challenging yacht started this March, with the team making the distinction that the giant multi-hull that has been built and tested on the west coast of the US is BOR90, not the USA as named in their challenge.
GGYC has also proposed that the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) mediate further negotiations between the parties.
And, if GGYC were to win in 2010, they expect to defend in Valencia, looking at 2011 or 2012 depending on input from potential challengers.
Valencia Sailing's Pierre Orphanidis covered the press conference, including audio of the presentation:
America’s Cup Deed of Gift
From World Yacht Racing Forum Newsletter:
WYRF: Will the Deed of Gift (DoG) match be an exceptional moment in the history of yacht racing or a boring, one-sided regatta?
Tim Jeffery: Both! There will be a ghoulish fascination in marveling at two fabulous, fascinating, fast and frightening yachts trying to knock each other out. But unless something goes "twang!", a small speed advantage will be amplified into a big gap. And big gaps don’t make exciting contests. The DoG courses (a long windward/leeward or a triangle) will discourage too much cornering.
Judge Confirms February Defense
May 14: "As to Golden Gate’s
request for sanctions, I am directing SNG to hold the race as per
the order of the Court of Appeals and Judge Cahn, in February, in
the Northern Hemisphere as the order required."
Additionally, SNG remains free to choose the actual location, naming it before August 8, six months before the first race. And Golden Gate YC needs to submit its yacht documentation for a racing vessel that complies with the Deed of Gift and GGYC's own Notice of Challenge dimensions.
Selected Stories at:
Defender and Challenger ordered to select third-party mediator within week: Reuters story at Guardian.co.uk
"Justice Kornreich provided a
list of mediators headed by former Justice Cahn. Although
Justice Cahn was once voted Seahorse Magazine Sailor of the
Month, the all lawyer, mostly former judge list does not include
any obvious sailors." Read more on the mediation aspect and
other analysis of Thursdays court hearing:
Alinghi attorney Barry Ostrager on the February date in Valencia: "If they want to expose their sailors to dangerous conditions, we'll deal with that. We've seen what kind of sportsmen they are": AP story at Silicon Valley Mercury News (offline)
Also from Barry Ostrager quoted by Reuters: It's definitely possible, but race would "not be in Valencia": Reuters story at ESPN.com
Statements After Court Hearing
Golden Gate YC Press Release:
"Today’s hearing should end any further delay to the 33rd America’s Cup and we can now look forward to some exciting racing in state-of-the-art boats early next year," Tom Ehman, GGYC spokesman, said following the hearing. On April 7, 2009, the New York State Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that GGYC is the rightful Challenger of Record and that the next match would be in ten months - early February 2010.
However, in an April 23 letter to GGYC, Société Nautique de Genéve (SNG) sought to unilaterally dictate that the match date be delayed to May 2010 in defiance of the Court, which triggered a motion to hold SNG in contempt of court.
Alinghi Press Release:
We now know that the America's Cup Match can take place in the Northern Hemisphere regardless of the date, which Justice Kornreich said can be agreed through mediation. In the event of no agreement being reached, Alinghi, representing the SNG, will race BMW Oracle, representing the Golden Gate Yacht Club, in February 2010.
In another important decision,
Justice Kornreich ordered the GGYC to stick to the specifications
of their Notice of Challenge and instructed the Challenger of
Record to provide the Custom-House Registry as soon as possible.”
Allegations and Accusations Fly
Well, the gloves have come off
in the Alinghi-BMW Oracle battle. Alinghi's' latest court
filings makes issue of information gathering by BMW Oracle
("spying"). Arrests was made of a member of what Alinghi
paints in court documents as a "recon cell".
Golden Gate YC replies that Alinghi themselves had "spies" following BMW Oracle's giant new multi-hull operations on land and at sea in both San Diego and Anacortes. "Alinghi/SNG take the view that they can observe others but others cannot observer them." Read GGYC statement from Tom Ehman
Separately, GGYC calls Alinghi
attempt to have GGYC disqualified is a frivolous act of
All of this is sparked by allegations made in court documents filed May 11 (links to pdf formats) in preparation for the May 14 hearing in the New York State Supreme Court:
Brave, Big, and Famous
In the midst of the ongoing hijinks that bring little pleasure to America's Cup fans, it is encouraging to have a reminder of what make this sport fun, and to poke a little bit of fun at the rest of it, too. John Rousmaniere's great speech accomplished both these goals at the America's Cup Hall of Fame induction dinner held recently in the New York YC's most hallowed room. We hope you will enjoy it.
Club Wants to Create Multi-Challenger Multi-Hull America's Cup 33
A letter from Italian yacht club Circolo Vela Gargnano (+39 Challenge, 2007) to both SNG and GGYC asks for the club to be permitted to challenge for the America's Cup, turning the 33rd Defense from a strict Deed of Gift one-on-one match into a multiple challenger event. The letter, which states that CVG will participate "provided enough time is given to challengers to prepare," asks that the defender and challenger open a challenger selection process and agree on dates, courses, trials and other conditions to make this possible.
Read the letter from CVG (pdf)
Golden Gate YC responded to CVG
with the statement that "As will be aware, there is pending that
with pending litigation concerning AC33. It would be
inappropriate to comment on your letter until that litigation is
Mutual Contempt Returns, Alinghi Files to Disqualify Golden Gate
Prison? Fines? Forfeits?
Legal analyst Cory E. Friedman offers his learned (and sober) analysis: "There is a lot less here than meets the eye. Nobody will be held in contempt and nobody will be disqualified. The Court will likely rule that, barring agreement (and world peace), the date set in the Judgment (February 2010) really, really, really is the date and GGYC will have to provide a Custom House registry within some reasonable time period. BFD -- and I do not mean Black Flag Disqualification. Justice Cahn was presented with all of the arguments regarding the dates and the hemispheres and obviously concluded that his Order (now a Judgment) complied with the Deed. Figure it out."
Alinghi's motion regarding the
challenger's Custom-House Registry will be heard in court on May
14 along with the Contempt of Court charges that Golden Gate YC
filed against the defender in regard to honoring the race dates
designated in the NY Supreme Court's recent decision.
Mutual Consent Folds:
April 28: Disagreement on dates for the next defense of the America's Cup prompts the Challenger, Golden Gate YC, to file contempt of court charges against the Defender, Société Nautique de Genève. Golden Gate cites the New York Court of Appeals April 7 final order, which on its face proscribes a date 10 months from the filing of the court's decision, meaning February 8, 2010. SNG has made public and private statements that they will defend in May, 2010.
Justice Shirley Kornreich has set a Supreme Court hearing in Manhattan, May 14 at 9:30 am, per court order issued today, and SNG's reply to the contempt filing is due by May 11.
Read GGYC Press Release (pdf) and see additional legal statements, affidavits, exhibits.
Update April 29: Alinghi
disputes dates, calls for Deed of Gift to be respected: "BMW
Oracle Racing (BOR) and its club Golden Gate (GGYC) have again
chosen the New York law courts, instead of accepting an
invitation to another meeting to discuss the terms of the 33rd
America's Cup. They have ignored both our proposal to open
the competition to other challengers and our invitation to agree
to mutual consent terms."
See also discussion from Cory E. Friedman at Scuttlebutt News: "Of course the monetary penalty for a contempt is meaningless with these folks, so the real object is to get an order reinforcing the February 2010 dates. GGYC hints that if SNG keeps it up, GGYC will ask for an order forfeiting the Cup."
And: Richard Gladwell at
Sail-World.com: "While the
papers raise the question of Forfeiture of the America's Cup, the
reality is that SNG are a single, long step, maybe two, away from
February 8, 2010:
February 8, 10, and 12, 2010
According to a report at Valencia Sailing, in the wake of the final decision by the Court of Appeals these should be the effective dates of the next defense under the Deed of Gift, based on the Final Order and Judgement (pdf) having been entered on April 7, 2009.
Not clear yet is the flexibility the defender might or might not have in choosing the location since this time frame apparently conflicts with the permitted dates for a defense in the northern hemisphere, but even still the two parties can make a mutual consent agreement to vary the dates.
The court has not explicitly resolved this issue. One interpretation of the now re-instated original order, put forth by Valencia Sailing and by Richard Gladwell at Sail-World, is that the match in this instance can be held in a northern hemisphere venue on these dates despite the Deed. Another view is that though Alinghi can choose any location they want, they must still respect the Deed's venue and date requirements along with the Order's timeline. It is hard not to note that the Deed itself was amended by court order in 1985 to set those restrictions in the first place.
Also See: Richard Gladwell at Sail-World
Open Letter from the 5 Previous America's Cup YC's to the Current Defender and Challenger
Previous trustees seek multi-challenger regatta
We write to encourage you to negotiate together for a fair and equitable multi-challenger competition for the thirty-third defense of the America’s Cup. We believe that such an event, as opposed to a “Deed of Gift” defense, is in the greater interest of the sport of sailing in general and of members of the broad America’s Cup community, who have invested their time and resources to make the event a true international competition of the highest order. We hope that the current challenger and defender will work together to find a way through their differences to bring about such an event for the good of yachting and the America’s Cup.
The Lord Iliffe, Commodore Royal Yacht Squadron
Decision in NY Court of Appeals:
Golden Gate Yacht Club
Quoting from the Court's 6-0 Decision:
"Today, we are called upon to reexamine the Deed of Gift to determine the eligibility criteria for a Challenger of Record -- specifically whether the phrase "having for its annual regatta" requires a yacht club to hold an annual regatta on the sea prior to issuing its challenge (Deed of Gift, October 24, 1887, ¶ 4). We conclude that it does."
"Since CNEV has failed to show that at the time it submitted its Notice of Challenge it was a "[c]lub fulfilling all the conditions required by" the Deed of Gift, it does not qualify as the Challenger of Record for the 33rd America's Cup competition and Supreme Court was correct in declaring GGYC to be the valid Challenger of Record."
"It has been posited that the right to act as trustee of the America's Cup should be decided on the water and not in a courtroom. We wholeheartedly agree. It falls now to SNG and GGYC to work together to maintain this noble sailing tradition as "a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries" (Deed of Gift, October 24, 1887, ¶ 3). Accordingly, the order of the Appellate Division should be reversed, with costs, and the orders of Supreme Court reinstated."
The Court of Appeals is New York State's highest venue, and no further appeals are possible. In theory the lower court orders which are re-instated in this ruling lay out the basis for the when and where portions of the equation, the Challenger's Notice of Challenge starts a 10-month clock for the defense while the Defender decides the location of the races, though the selected location must conform with the seasonal requirements of the Deed as to northern or southern hemisphere. The specifics of when the match must be sailed by are somewhat murkier. A 10-month clock appears to have been running previously, though the participants may differ in when it began and when, if ever, it might have tolled (stopped).
Ben Ainslie, Terry Hutchinson, Rod Davis and others were in Long Beach last weekend for some hard fought match racing in the Congressional Cup. How are top America's Cup sailors (and some who aspire to be) dealing professionally and personally with the uncertainty and conflict surrounding the Auld Mug?
Louis Vuitton Pacific Cup Final
Race 1: Even start. ETNZ behind by 12 seconds at the top mark. Spinnaker halyard gets away, sets them back further. ETNZ trails Alinghi at mark 2, gap of 18 seconds. Closes slightly, but no passing. 26 seconds at the second windward. Alinghi wins Race 1. Finish delta 0:22. Read Race Report
Race 2: ETNA will enter left, Alinghi right. Start: was planned for 12:35pm, delayed waiting for wind. Wind 16-20 kts, gusting into the mid-20s or higher. Racing cancelled for the day
Reports are that Alinghi believes the NZL boats are not matched in speed well enough for a fair series. The LVPS Final as arranged does not swap boats between teams for each race. A protest hearing will be held beginning at 1:30pm today. Official statistics indicate the NZL boats were 5-5 in the Rounds Robin and 3-2 in favor of NZL-92 in the challenger brackets, or 8-7 overall.
Update 3:00 pm: The protest was set aside until after the draw. Alinghi won the draw and chose NZL-92. ETNZ chose to enter on starboard (yellow). See Race Report for more, including audio.
Start Time: 10:05am, moving up
the scheduled 11:00 am start time. See today's updated
We’ll see if the Repcast holds -- breeze
is steady this morning, but the prediction is for 1m wind-driven
waves when the tide turns around 10am, and higher winds in the
afternoon as a front moves through. It’s a race against
weather, organizers hoping to complete the Challenger Finals
before that breeze comes in.
Results: Alinghi wins the start, leads, delta 28 seconds at the first mark. 38 seconds at the gate mark. And extending. 240m lead. Delta 58 seconds at the second windward mark, last leg and not much chance to do anything about it. Alinghi appears to be flying a protest flag, still on the last leg and ahead by over 300m, for reasons that escape observers. Alinghi takes the gun, wins the Challenger Final, will face ETNZ in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series Final.
Details of the protest will be heard ashore. Radio reports say that the protest is in relation to the format, and the assignment of boats for the LVPS Final
Challenger Quarters, Semis, and Race 1 of the Final
A Day of Amazing Finishes
Quarter-Final and Semi-Final
Team Origin vs. Damiani Italia
Luna Rossa vs. BMW Oracle
Race 2: Team Origin beats K-Challenge, delta 1:52.
4:10 pm update: Quarter-Final races abandoned for the Day.
Photos, race details, Press
QF 1: A re-run of yesterday's Origin-Damiani match, which Damiani won. Damiani knows they can do it but Team Origin wants revenge for a starting mistake. A higher seed, Italia got to choose a starboard entry, so start with the upper hand.
QF 2: BMW Oracle are into their stride, but Luna Rossa finally came good when it mattered in their last gasp win over China Team. It showed they could execute under pressure, which is something they will certainly need to do against Russell Coutts and his team. Another cracking match in prospect.
Day 5 Round Robin 2
Damiani Italia beats Team Origin. Origin protested whether they were OCS, but for technical reasons the case was not heard.
Race 4 underway at 3:55. Follow on radio at BSport and BMWO Race ticker (offline). Choppy and windy conditions. After the start ETNZ on the right, BMW Oracle on the left, narrow lead to BMW Oracle. Wind fills and lifts from the left and Oracle gains. 22 seconds for BMW at the first windward. Bear away spinnaker sets, right shift down the run aids BMW Oracle. BMW takes the right gate, ETNZ trails by several lengths. ETNZ onto starboard and BMW covers. They trade several tacks, BMW protecting the left. Starboard layline comes and Oracle controls. Delta 32 seconds at the second windward mark. Little opportunity to attack here, 180m gap. 27 seconds finish delta to BMW Oracle.
In addition to the final RR2 races scheduled, Race 2 today will be Greek Challenge and Shosholoza, moving up their 8th-9th place sail-off originally scheduled for later in the week.
The number one Challenger seed was settled in yesterday's Alinghi-BMW Oracle match, today BMW Oracle meets ETNZ, which does not affect point totals, and Alinghi would own the tie-breaker in any case.
What's up for grabs is a chance for Origin to get ahead of Damiani with a win in Race 2, and a chance for Luna Rossa to get ahead of Origin if the British lose today and LR wins. Luna Rossa currently has zero points and Origin one-half point. Of course, another hard contact penalty could shuffle the deck even more.
Update Feb 5: At a presentation Friday in Auckland, Tom Schnackenberg detailed the genesis of the new Class. Listen to the audio (over 1 hour) at Alinghi web site (offline)
Alinghi has made public the proposed new racing class for the next America's cup, should they prevail in court. Slightly longer and notably lighter than the current ACC's, but with more sail area (spinnaker size is unlimited), the boats of the AC33 Rule promise to be higher performance but similar in cost.
Download the complete Rule (pdf) (offline)
LVPS Starts Friday
Ten Louis Vuitton Pacific Series teams have been practicing since last Saturday for this new regatta. Referred to by ETNZ's Grant Dalton as "The Friendly Games", anticipation among yacht racing fans for some of the marquee match-ups is high. And possibly just as much appreciation for the welcome nature of the Pacific event can be found among the sailors themselves.
"There was a moment on the first day of sailing," says Team New Zealand's Managing Director Grant Dalton. "We were sailing against Russell and it was just cool to be out on the water again with these boats and things and thinking why, why did it need to get to this."
Brief Encounters: Acceptance and Rejection
The New York Court of Appeals has accepted motions for the filing of amicus curiae from SNG/CNEV and from Bill Koch. See recent news items below for more information on the contents of these various documents. The Court also issued an order denying standing for an amicus curiae filing submitted by Team French Spirit, who included Royal Thames YC in their document. The Court does not explicitly list the reasons for so denying the filing, but missing the time limits appears to be a factor. Acceptance or rejection of these briefs is unlikely to have any relation to the merits of the arguments they contain, and in any event the role that the briefs would play in any decision is uncertain. The suggestion is well taken that, given the timing and nature of the arguments in the recent flood of amici briefs, managing appearances in the court of public opinion was as much a consideration for both sides as the finer legal points amici might normally address.
Cory E. Friedman, legal analyst at Scuttlebutt News, reviews the amici curiae briefs that have sprouted with abandon the last couple of weeks, throws a few observations into the mix:
"George Schuyler created an event that fit his conception of a sailing match, sponsored by real sportsmen and sailed in real yachts. He never thought it was for everyone. Everyone has lost sight of the singularity of George Schuyler's event, as governed by the Deed. What this dispute is really about is that no one seems to want George Schuyler’s event and, in varying degrees, want to hijack the trophy for something "better" -- meaning more commercial. This litigation is not about George Schuyler's America’s Cup, as set forth in the Deed. It is about a different event. If they do not want to sail George Schuyler’s event, there is nothing wrong with that. They should move on, sail whatever they want, call it whatever they want and retire the Cup.
"Justice Cahn reached mandatory retirement at year end and now sits as a Judicial Hearing Officer (JHO), which means he only can hear cases if all parties consent. If anyone does not consent, it goes to another Justice, who gets to learn all about the America's Cup from scratch. Something to look forward to. Of course, the way the parties are handling this case, Justice Cahn may not be the last Justice who reaches retirement age while this dispute is pending."
Yet More Amici Curiae Briefs
Jan 7: Team Origin and Royal Thames YC, the club Origin represents, have filed a late amici curiae brief (the apparent deadline was several days ago). Origin argues that, by virtue of not being a submitted challenger under the protocol, Golden Gate YC has no basis to judge whether the protocol or the management of the regatta are fair, and suggests certain historically accepted candidates for challenger were not valid under the Deed, either, when they submitted their notices of entry.
Jan 5: The America's Cup, conceived in the 1850s as a contest among amici curiae briefs, correction, among nations, is moving into high season with yet more "Friend(s) of the Court" briefs being filed by former winners, recent competitors, and outright newcomers.
2007 entry K-Challenge, Deutscher Challenger Yacht Club, and the formative teams Dabliu Sail Project, Italia, and Russian Challenge have signed onto (offline) the earlier submitted brief supporting Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) and Alinghi. The new Team French Spirit and 2007 entry Shosholoza have filed an additional amici curiae brief (offline) attacking the New York YC.
Bill Koch, the man behind
America³, 1992's winning Defender for
the San Diego YC, has
filed his own amicus brief against SNG's acceptance of
CNEV under the guise of a Deed-valid yacht club, criticizing
Alinghi's rules structure as unfair.
San Diego Yacht Club Files Amicus Brief
The San Diego YC, Trustee of the America's Cup from 1987-1995 and three-time Defender, has filed an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief, submitted the same day in New York as the NYYC's amicus brief, noted below.
Excerpt from SDYC statement: Given San Diego Yacht Club's prior involvement in the America’s Cup as a former Trustee and defender of the America's Cup races held off of the coast of San Diego during 1992 and 1995, the San Diego Yacht Club Board of Director’s and the San Diego Yacht Club Sailing Foundation felt compelled to provide written evidence to the court in support of Golden Gate Yacht Club's position relative to the definition of an "organized" yacht club as described in the America’s Cup Deed of Gift and, therefore, the necessary qualifications required for a yacht club to be accepted as a Challenger of Record.
Read the SDYC Statement (pdf)
New York Yacht Club Submits Amicus Brief Against Alinghi and CNEV
December 31: The New York Yacht Club has submitted a friend of the court brief criticizing Alinghi's Challenger of Record CNEV as an invalid entity that subverts the terms of the Deed of Gift under which the owners of the yacht America granted the historic trophy as a challenge cup.
The NYYC's brief also points out that the "plain and natural reading" of the deed's language makes sense only if the requirements of the Deed are prerequisites to being a valid challenging yacht club. Further, they state that the appellate court was unfairly selective in looking to extrinsic evidence in their ruling overturning the original decision, and that the NYYC's position has been misrepresented by the defendant in court papers.
From the NYYC Amicus Curiae Brief: Mr. Schuyler’s intent in amending the Deed of Gift is clear from his experience at the time: The Club does indeed remember Mr. Schuyler’s support for the original Deed of Gift, and for the amendments that he later determined were necessary to ensure that the America’s Cup would remain a "spirited contest for the Championship." The requirements that a Challenger be an organized yacht club having an annual regatta on the sea or an arm of the sea were chief among the criteria that Mr. Schuyler established in pursuit of that goal. Yet these are the very measures that SNG seeks to undermine. The terms of the protocol are the antithesis of everything that Mr. Schuyler envisioned and against which he intended to guard by requiring that any yacht club challenging for the America’s Cup be an "organized Yacht Club" having an "annual regatta."
Read the complete document at NYYC
Also of note: The
NYYC reveals in their brief that they were part of an attempt in
the past year or so to broker an agreement between the parties
that would have provided a future basis for conducting the
America's Cup that would respect the traditions, history, and
unique sporting character of yachting's great regatta and be in
line with the Deed of Gift while at the same providing for the
commercial exploitation that is sometimes sought by defending
yacht club. As with other attempts to find peace in this
conflict, these efforts did not work out. See page 5 of the
Eighteen Entries for Challenger
As of Thursday, the officially accepted entries received by Société Nautique de Genève for the next America's Cup, should Alinghi prevail in court, are (listed in order of filing submission):
Club Nautico Español de Vela (ESP)
Yacht clubs/teams that have not competed in an America's Cup challenger selection regatta before are noted above in italics.
Alinghi notes that three of the 18 teams listed still need to complete documentation, and have been granted extensions to finish the process. Three teams in addition to those listed above submitted Notices of Entry but have not submitted further information. Read Alinghi Press Release
The identity of the teams that submitted entries but that are not listed has not been disclosed. The previously announced Team Carbon Challenge has withdrawn. At least one new expected Italian team that had been previously mentioned is not on the list, along with an entry from the online community Sailing Anarchy which was publicly announced earlier this week. BMW Oracle, which is pursuing legal action, declined to dismiss their case in order to enter.
New versus Old Teams:
Countries in italics would represent the first candidates to sail for that country in a challenger selection regatta if they actually make it to the starting line. Russia, for example, has had two previous entries. One, for the 2000 America's Cup went as far as receiving an ACC sail number (RUS-62, if you are keeping score), but the syndicate failed and the boat never arrived in Auckland for the Louis Vuitton Cup. The second was Russian Ocean YC of St. Petersburg's promised 1992 entry, Red Star Syndicate, also never competed, though their yacht Vek Russia (RUS-22) (see photo) found its way to Vancouver as a day charter (read more).
This set of entries, if SNG/Alinghi prevail in court and this version of the next America's Cup goes forward, would mark the first time an American team has not been involved in the 157 year history of the America's Cup.
Alinghi Re-launches AC33
Oct 23: Entries for the next America's Cup regatta are now being accepted until December 15. 2010 is the timeframe for the actual defense and all teams will be limited to a single new boat, in a new class to be determined. The Defender will race in the Challenger Selection Series, and even if Alinghi loses in court, they intend to hold sailing events in Valencia in 2009 and 2010.
"We feel that there is an opportunity to move ahead with the competition," says Brad Butterworth. "Teams, sailors and the whole America's Cup community are keen to return to sailing. We want to get this competition going and get the entered challengers to participate in a constructive process. Both GGYC and RNZYS are invited to abandon their respective legal proceedings and join the competition."
Read more at Alinghi.com (offline)
Updated Oct 24: Alinghi plans
"America's Cup Summit" meetings in Geneva to discuss AC33 with
Read Final Race Reports:
Race 3: Penalty on Alinghi at the start, 30 seconds ETNZ at the top mark. ETNZ leading but Alinghi gaining. Not close enough, ETNZ wins by 34 seconds.
Race 4: Underway. ETNZ leads at the gate mark by 15 sec, 75m, but Alinghi closed up on leg 2. ETNZ wins Race 4, and wins the LVPS 3-1.
Weather and time limitations will reduce the maximum number of races to 5, and possibly fewer.
Stories at CupInfo:
Comparing the Best
Hall: Dinghies and Cup Yachts
Teams, Gallery, Stories, RR1 and
From Mothballs to Match Racing
Providing two race-ready Cup yachts on short notice on the far side of the world wasn’t smooth sailing, so to speak. "It was a bit of an epic," admits Grant Davidson, of BMW Oracle. Mothballed yachts had to be shipped round the globe, set up to be nearly identical, and now need to be maintained that way day after day of close quarters match racing under ten different teams.
Louis Vuitton Pacific Series
Round Robin 1 Results:
Round Robin 1 head-to-head results and standings:
SUI-64 Goes to France
"With this boat in the hands of Bertrand [Pace] and Philippe [Presti], the French will be tough contenders and we are pleased to look forward for some common training sessions," says Brad Butterworth, three-time winner of the Cup.
Our West Coast correspondent dropped by the BMW Oracle base in San Diego to check up on giant multi-hull progress and provides this report:
Naturally the "dognormous" boat, using nearly every square inch of something that can't really be called a slip, is the focus of the morning's activity. Sails are loaded onto the boat with halyards and pulleys and cables -- cables of a size that get everyone's attention and mean no one has to be told to get out of the way. Even with the sails and sailors onboard, the boat sits elegantly on the water, with very little wetted surface.
Photo Galleries and more below:
Multi-hull on TV:
Also, unrelated to BMW Oracle, enjoy this vintage Walter Cronkite interview with Ted Turner, circa 1977: CBS News Video
Olin J. Stephens II
One of yacht design's greatest minds, a man who brought innovation and integrity to the sailing world for over eight decades, passed away September 13 at the age of 100. Most famous were his efforts in the defense of the America's Cup, where his boats won sailing's most famous and hard-fought trophy an incredible eight times between 1937 and 1980. Stephens himself sailed on Ranger in 1937 as well as later 12-Meter defender Columbia, and along with his late brother Rod, Olin Stephens played a vital role in many subsequent defenses well beyond being the winning designer.
His more than 2000 designs found enduring success on virtually every stage in sailing, with Stephens' boats winning the Fastnet Race seven times, the Bermuda race eleven times, and even the Whitbread Round the World race twice, just to name a few major races. A list that begins with the famous trans-Atlantic winner Dorade, Bolero, Stormy Weather, Carleton Mitchell's Finisterre, the influential 6-Meter Goose, and Mike Vanderbilt's pre-war 12-Meter Vim only hints at the scope of Stephens' work. One-design classes, luxury and cruising yachts, and a progression of yacht racing measurement systems also fill his resume.
Olin Stephens' company, Sparkman & Stephens, was the towering naval architecture firm of the 20th century, and leaves a legacy not simply of a fleet of yachts with impressive sailing performance, but of memorable beauty as well. Admired as much for his personal character as for his design genius, Stephens was also a generous mentor to generations of yacht designers, and anybody who has even read slightly of him will not forget the modesty, fairness, and kindness that those who knew him often remarked upon.
Essentially self-educated, despite a half-year's study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stephens brought a careful and critical eye to his work. While Stephens received much-deserved credit for the scientific and intellectual dimensions he contributed to yachting, those who worked with him recognized that just as important, if not more so, was an intuitive sense that came from attentive observation and a life-long determined curiosity. One S&S designer, Jay Paris, commented "He's designed more 12-Meters than anyone ever has or will, yet I've seen him stare at the wake of a 12-Meter for hours."
Olin Stephens made the following comments at the conclusion of his autobiography All This and Sailing, Too. He was referring to a confusion he felt, among other things, about the nature of sailing as a pleasure and, for some, as a business, but perhaps here Stephens also communicates a small part of the wisdom that he leaves us on broader topics:
"I come back to the confusion, the contrast, and in the end I feel doubt whether our technological and scientific learning has given us a better sport or a happier world. I fear we have lost, if I am a pessimist on the big issues of our life today, yet I have to reflect on the goodness I have seen in individuals. I see great goodwill every day and kindness beyond description. And I have recalled, in my reviewing my own story, the many friends who have helped me on my way. I have lived well with the hope that it is the activity that must count, the process, the doing. The result is only what happens. We press on but we can't control the end. The poet Rilke speaks of 'the many-digited sum that sorts into zero.' Enough said."
Excerpt from John Rousmaniere's entry in the Encyclopedia of Yacht Designers: New York YC
Thoughts from Dave Pedrick, Steve Van Dyck, T.J. Perotti, and others: Scuttlebutt Blog
with close friends:
Comment from Rolf Vrolijk at: Alinghi.com
Olin Stephens Tribute: Sparkman and Stephens
9/15 Why San Diego? "Warm weather, the right wind, sea conditions that will give us a good picture and a lot of room." : SignOnSanDiego.com
9/10 Monster Watching: "While sailing upwind in no more than 9 knots of breeze, they heeled the boat enough to sail on only the leeward float, making even speed with our media boat at roughly 26 knots": Scuttlebutt News
9/10 James Spithill: "We're not even at 50 percent yet and it's already pretty impressive.": Seattle Times
9/10 Training moving to San Diego: IHT
9/3 John Kostecki: "...There isn't anything like this, a multi-hull like this..." Read more at NZ Herald
8/30 Bob Fisher: 5300 sf mainsail, 3700 sf foresail, and 7500 sf spinnaker to be raised Saturday
8/29 Testing Begins
James Spithill: "It's awesome, mate. The first time you see it in real life it's a shock factor, to be real honest." Read more at International Herald Tribune
Step-by-step coverage of launch and rigging nearly live Monday afternoon: Dogzillabuzz Blog
Oct 20: Two weeks of San Diego testing complete: BMW Oracle web site
Inside the BMW Oracle compound:
It's interesting to note some comparisons between BMW Oracle's boat and the giant new 131-foot ocean racing trimaran Banque Populaire V. See Banque story and photos by Lyn Hines at Sailing World
See more photos at the BMW Oracle Racing photo bank.
Inquires please contact: