America's Cup News: 3rd and 4th Quarter 2007

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 Selected Archive of News Stories and Features:

Words from Peter Blake

From a letter Peter Blake wrote to Luna Rossa following their loss in the 2000 America's Cup:

"The America’s Cup is an elusive trophy, and has rarely changed hands in the last 150 years. This is not a sport for the faint hearted. It is not a quest to take lightly or on a whim. It is a fight between sailors from yacht clubs all over the world that desperately want the same thing: get their hands on the Cup.

"The prestige for the winner has more value than any other sporting achievement. It’s winning against the invincible and doing the impossible that attract sailors, dreamers and millionaires, but the victory is not easy, and most of the time it doesn’t happen."

Read the complete letter at Peter Lester's blog

Old news:

June 30: Sir Keith Mills and Team Origin for the next America's Cup: "I think investors will double their money," he predicts unflinchingly.

June 29: Superyacht Harbor attracts Super Rich: Bloomberg

June 26: Paul Cayard being pursued by several teams: Reuters

June 23: Coutts to Oracle? Fab Five to Follow?  Nothing's Final. NZ Herald

Additional News Archived from May-June 2007:

America's Cup stories

LV Cup Stories

Unveiling Day Photos


TNZ Yachts You Can Sail

ETNZ has adopted NZL-40 and -41, currently on excursion duty in Auckland harbor, as their official VIP sailing vessels. With new boat testing halted due to the America's Cup court impasse, they still want to keep sponsors and supporters happy.  The two boats in their new ETNZ circa 2007 livery are already a big hit with visitors.  Read more at

Meanwhile, NZL-80 and -81, the 2003 defender's actual  boats, are available in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for tourist excursion.  And no rules against sailing both at once, either.  See Cabo-Adventures for more

Ernesto Bertarelli Proposes New America's Cup Governing Documents Or Else

Ernesto Bertarelli published a document containing his vision of the America's Cup, one where the defender may not defend the Cup, the venues for the event are not determined by winning the regatta, and parity and commercial sponsorship can properly modernize an event in order to maximize its commercial possibilities.  As an alternative to these sweeping changes to the America's Cup, in effect apparently discarding the Deed of Gift, the single option offered is to meet BMW Oracle in a one-on-one Deed of Gift match.

Read more at the Alinghi website

Bertarelli, president of Alinghi, wants to alter the America's Cup

From the International Herald Tribune: The most likely scenario for the next cup continues to be a court-mandated catamaran race between Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing in October 2008. But Bertarelli said he had spoken last weekend by telephone with Ellison.

"We just hope that this letter is not intended to distract from the important question of getting AC 33 and our challenge on track," said Tom Ehman, a spokesman for BMW Oracle. "This letter has come out of the blue without any forewarning despite repeated requests to sit down and have a meeting."


Discussion will take place shortly between representatives of BMW Oracle and also of the NYYC to explore this matter further.

Also: See statement at

Richard Gladwell at Sail-World: "Surely this is the sort of deal that should have been placed on the table on 5th July 2007, instead of the one-sided Protocol signed with a club that had never staged a regatta and described itself as a 'legal adjustment'. Why now, after allowing the legal dispute to run its full race in the New York Supreme Court? Why now after Ernesto postponed the America's Cup indefinitely, just days before Justice Cahn delivered his decision?"


GGYC Proposes Possible 2009 Format, Protocol Modifications

Proposed Event Format from GGYC (click to enlarge).

Golden Gate YC has made a proposal to Alinghi, the current holder of the America's Cup, exploring a way that the regatta can move forward and be held in 2009.  GGYC also published an illustration of a proposed challenger selection format, differing only slightly from a format made public by Alinghi earlier this year.

Read the Golden Gate proposal

New Sponsor for Shosholoza

Breil Milano, maker of watches and Jewelry, will sponsor the South African Team.

Read the Press Release

Dalton Demands Compensation from Alinghi

From the Sport Telegraph: "Team New Zealand chief Grant Dalton has sent a compensation demand to Alinghi owner Ernesto Bertarelli for the postponement of the America's Cup in 2009. The demand came just 24 hours before Justice Herman Cahn, of the New York Supreme Court, found against the Swiss businessman and in favour of Larry Ellison's Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco."

Read Tim Jeffery's story at

The above article also says that the defender gave Team New Zealand a "holiday" on the entrance fees and offered first chance at taking over BMW Oracle's Valencia Harbor base, along with mentioning that other teams also have "side deals" with the defender.

See Also: Grant Dalton confirmed the basis for his comments to Australia's, and a few more details are provided at NZ Herald.

Troublé Concerned For the America's Cup's Future

Bruno Troublé, writing in Sailing Scuttlebutt #2486: "Since July, I remained silent, speechless after the America’s Cup we all love so much, was hijacked. I am shocked to see the defender sailing WITH the challengers (no more of this great mystery at the start of the first final race) and at ACM naming the judges, umpires, and committees with no reference to ISAF. I am sad to see the America’s Cup slowly but surely drifting to become just another sporting event with no class, no respect for tradition, and where money - lots of money - is the only word used by the organizers."

Read more at Sailing Scuttlebutt

Golden Gate Wins in Court

Tuesday, November 27: CNEV is ruled not to be a valid challenger under the Deed of Gift.  Golden Gate YC/BMW Oracle's challenge prevails.  Hopes return for negotiation that might put the America's Cup back on track. 

The text of the ruling is available online in pdf format at the Golden Gate YC web site.  Also, read Cory E. Friedman's discussion at Scuttlebutt.

Alinghi has previously said that they will not appeal the ruling regardless of outcome, and the Valencia Sailing website is reporting that CNEV will announce that they have also decided not to appeal the case, which their latest statement seems to confirm.

GGYC/BMW Oracle Statement:

GGYC Welcomes Court Ruling
Valencia, Spain, 27 November 2007

The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) today welcomed a ruling by the New York State Supreme Court that its challenge for the 33rd America’s Cup was valid.

"We are very pleased by the decision as it enables everyone to focus on getting the Cup back on track quickly," said Russell Coutts, CEO of the club’s BMW Oracle Racing team.

He said GGYC wanted to see a conventional America’s Cup regatta in Valencia and is planning to speak with Alinghi as soon as possible to organize a meeting seeking a mutual consent challenge.

GGYC’s first preferences would be to:

1. Seek to agree rules with all competitors along the lines of the October 17 "nine points" compromise proposal and race a conventional America’s Cup competition in Valencia in 2009.

2. If a Deed of Gift challenge went ahead, the club would seek to race under the AC90 monohull rule already published. If Alinghi did not agree to that, in multi-hulls.

3. In all scenarios, GGYC would seek by mutual consent to have a Challenger Selection Series with as many challengers as possible.

"We will immediately endeavor to meet with the other challengers to mutually agree a fair set of rules negotiated with all the other teams," Coutts said.

"We will be very happy if we can put the last few months behind us and get on with sailing."

SNG/Alinghi Statement:

 Today's decision against the validity of the Club Náutico Español de Vela (CNEV), the Challenger of Record, is a disappointment to the Société Nautique de Geneve (SNG), AC Management (ACM), Alinghi and the seven entered Challengers affected by the outcome.  There will now be a thorough review of the Judge's decision and an analysis of the various options offered by the Deed of Gift.

Ernesto Bertarelli, President of Alinghi, says: "We are disappointed that a technicality made the CNEV invalid and we are now looking forward to discussions with the Golden Gate Yacht Club to keep the America's Cup functioning."

CNEV Statement:
From the team: Desafío Español respects the decision of Justice Cahn but does not share his interpretation regarding the validity of Club Náutico Español de Vela.
Read the Press Release

More reactions:
Grant Dalton at ETNZ: Victory for common sense.
See NZ Herald

Big Moves: America's Cup Postponed

The date scheduled for Alinghi's next defense is postponed, yet more challengers are joining up.  It doesn't quite make sense, but that's The America's Cup in a nutshell, lately. Read on:

Organizers decide to postpone the scheduled 2009 Defense of the America's Cup.
Read the ACM Press Release

More stories:
ACM Uncertain:
New York Times
Alinghi Angered: Guardian Unlimited
Alinghi Saddened: SwissInfo

Unfortunate and Unnecessary: Reuters

The Postponement decision puts pressure on team funding.  Team New Zealand's government funding is said to be secure enough to keep the team together, but without a date, securing commercial backing is likely impossible. 
See the NZ Herald for more

Britain's Team Origin, meanwhile, is very unhappy with the efforts by the parties to find a fair and practical way to proceed, citing their greed and belligerence, and suggesting that if BMW Oracle were to prevail in court, Team Origin would end their challenge.  "Unfortunately the tactics employed by the two have sometimes brought into question the willingness of both to want to find a solution at all," said the team's Mike Sanderson.
See the Tehran Times for more

Tom Ehman, BMW Oracle: "Apparently, they're hell-bent to face us in multi-hulls. But even if we win in court, it's our fervent hope that we will still be able to race a traditional America's Cup in the new AC-90 (mono-hull) in 2009."
  Read More at Detroit Free Press

One New Challenger In, More Challengers Coming Before December 15

Ayre, representing Real Club Náutico de Denia and another team widely believed to be Mascalzone Latino have become AC33 Challengers.  ACM is also hinting that 2 additional teams are filing their papers and should be announced shortly.  The deadline for filing for all prospective challenger chandidate is December 15.
Read the ACM Press Release

No news on the court decision that holds the future of the Cup in the balance, but anticipation is growing that something will be determined soon.  Dedicated Cup watchers are torn as to whether this means a reasonable settlement is about to be reached, or that, as recent public statements seem to claim, that chances of an agreement are irretrievably lost.  Depending on the behavior of the key players, we may either get a couple defenses in the next two years, or else maybe not even one for 4 years or more.

Alinghi Set July 18, 2009 for Next Cup Defense

At a press conference Thursday, Alinghi, current defender of the America's Cup, made public their plans for the next defense of yachting's biggest trophy.  The America's Cup Match will begin July 18, 2009, challenger selection series racing will begin May 2 of that year, preceded by fleet racing in April.  There will also be two events held in 2008, one in Valencia in late June and early July, and another at a time and place to be determined.  The 2008 regattas and the April 2009 fleet races carry no points for challenger selection purposes, but participation and/or winning allows a team to build additional extra sails.  Additionally, practice sailing in the new AC90 class will take place in fall of 2008 and possibly spring of 2009.  Details of competition rules and regulations were also released.

A preliminary plan for challenger selection shows 2 rounds robin to select the top 6 teams, who then face each other in 3 semi-final series.  There is an additional repechage among the number 2 and 3 teams leading up to the challenger selection final.  Eliminated teams will race in some sort of fleet racing, along with the Defender.

Proposed Event Format (click to enlarge).  Image ©2007 ACM

Refreshingly, there are no fixed wind limits. Other highlights include no shrouding of AC90 yachts, a 50% limit on modifications to an AC90 hull, and a crew limit of 20 people (plus a "21st-man" observer).  The 2008 regattas will use the Version 5 America's Cup Class boats, though competitors may not build any new Version 5 ACC's, may not sail more than one of them at any time, and Version 5 ACC boats cannot be sailed in Valencia after 2008.

Read more and download the rules at

New and old Yacht Class Comparison. (click to enlarge)
©2007 ACM

Conference Thursday to Reveal Rules, Dates, for 33rd America's Cup

America's Cup Management Press Release: A presentation of the Competition Regulations and AC90 Class Rule for the 33rd America's Cup will take place on Thursday 8th November in Barcelona, starting at 4pm (local CET time), with the participation of Michel Hodara, CEO of AC Management; Rolf Vrolijk, Alinghi principal designer; Juan Kouyoumdjian, TeamOrigin principal designer; Agustín Zulueta, Desafío Español general director; and Tom Schnackenberg, Class Rule and Competition Regulations consultant for AC Management.  You will be able to listen to the whole audio broadcast of the press conference here online and discover the format and dates of the event in 2008 and 2009.

Read details and access streaming audio at

New America's Cup Class Rule Released

AC90 to Make for Bigger Faster Boats

Tom Schnackenberg: "In writing the AC90 Rule we have used the experience gained in forming Version 5 of the America's Cup Class rule. We have tried to keep it simple because of the short timeframe, while also taking care not to ignore the lessons of the last 18 years of the ACC. The rule is a box rule rather than a rating rule and differs greatly to Version 5 in that the yacht will be big, fast and much more demanding."

Read more and download the new rule at

Golden Gate Makes an Offer

In what might signal a possible end to the ongoing conflict over the terms of the next America's Cup match (and the associated court case), Golden Gate YC has issued the following Press Release:

 (San Francisco, October 25 ) -- The Golden Gate Yacht Club will agree to comprehensive new compromises to get the America’s Cup back on track for Valencia in 2009 if the defender will disclose its rule for the boats' design. 

"We are looking forward to putting this dispute about the rules behind us and racing for the America’s Cup in 2009 in Valencia as planned. That’s what we want, and that’s what all the challengers want," Larry Ellison, syndicate head of the club’s America’s Cup team, BMW Oracle Racing, said today.  "But it is impossible to accept a design rule that we have never seen."

The American team has told challengers it is ready to agree to wide ranging new proposals discussed over the last 24 hours if it can confirm for itself that the design rule developed by Alinghi is fair for all competitors.

It has been normal practice over recent Cups for the design rule to be seen by all potential competitors well in advance of the event.

Catamarans at Dawn?
Or Settlement Soon?

In an article at the Detroit Free Press, Tom Ehman of BMW Oracle told Eric Sharp that both sides seem prepared for either eventuality:

From the Detroit Free Press: "Within hours of the time we issued our challenge, they were on the telephone to the same multihull experts we've been talking to.  In fact, for a while there was a kind of bidding war going on," said Ehman, who was one of the people arguing Oracle's case in New York City on Monday. The judge is expected to issue a ruling in two to three weeks....

If the Swiss lose, they can negotiate with the Americans.  Ehman said that rather than have two syndicates race giant catamarans, BMW-Oracle would prefer to involve all of the challengers and the defender in selecting a new monohull design for a Cup off Valencia in [2009]. 

CupInfo Editor's note: this article originally quoted BMW Oracle as seeking a "2010" date, but after further inquiry we have confirmed that date was in error and BMW Oracle is still seeking a 2009 America's Cup regatta among defender and multiple challengers, as is Alinghi.

What's It All About?

"A rich guy in Switzerland, another rich guy in California, a sailboat race off the coast of Spain, and rules that were written 150 years ago -- that’s what it’s about."

Read more on Monday's court outing from John Rousmaniere at Scuttlebutt

10/22 Challenger's Objections:  A strong letter of objection was sent by seven teams to the Spanish CNEV in Mid-July, detailing complaints and asking CNEV to withdraw their challenge and remedy the situation.  GGYC has now made the text of the letter available.  Read More

Decision Delayed

The big ruling in the Golden Gate YC versus SNG court case will wait until at least October 29.  Observers and partisans from both sides found reason to be hopeful despite, or perhaps because of, the lack of resolution October 22 in New York.  Dock talk is behind the scenes conversations are also taking place that may still avert an extreme judgment being issued by the court as early as next week.

Publicly (and predictably) Golden Gate YC and SNG issued statements that they were pleased with the day's action in court and welcome a prompt resolution.

Read more:
Shortly afterwards, the judge adjourned the case 'for a few days,' to give his decision, after first advising both parties to continue the negotiating procedure in which they had been engaged for some weeks. Whether sufficient agreement can be reached before Judge Cahn delivers is somewhat dubious."
-- Bob Fisher for Sail-World

"Lawyers and parties hear what they want to hear, but anyone who thinks Justice Cahn tipped his hand is dreaming. Besides, if he gave each of them something to worry about, they might settle and avoid the need for a decision. Like I said in the last report, it ain’t over until Justice Cahn sings or, more accurately -- hands down the sheet music." -- Corey E. Friedman at Scuttlebutt

Cayard Signs on at Desafío

Paul Cayard has officially joined up with Spanish challenger Desafío Español, taking the position as sports director.  He assisted the team in an advisory capacity in their 2007 effort.

Read the Press Release

More Visits with Alinghi

With the October 22 date approaching fast, key players continue to make their case to the sailing, sporting, and reporting public.  Despite all that's been said already on this subject, two more pieces that are well worth reading: Sail Magazine editor Kimball Livingston met face-to-face with Alinghi owner Ernesto Bertarelli in San Francisco and filed a story at Sail West, while Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth fielded some direct questions from Pierre Orphanidis for Valencia Sailing.

 Kimball Livingston's Part 2: Uh Oh I Did It Again

Ernesto Bertarelli at the NYYC

Scuttlebutt's Corey E. Friedman visited with the leader of Alinghi as he made a media stop in the most venerated America's Cup locale of them all.  Friedman spoke with Bertarelli on some of the most sensitive issues facing the Cup and the competitors, and presents his perceptive report on the struggle for the Cup, legal, cultural, and otherwise.

Read more at Scuttlebutt

Mascalzone Latino Files Brief Supporting Oracle Suit

Regarding Mascalzone becoming a challenger in the next America's Cup Regatta:  "We are certainly ready to participate and it is for this reason that we are intervening in order to try to improve the rule context."

Read the Press Release

Also: Valencia Sailing spoke briefly with Alessandra Pandarese, general counsel for Mascalzone, and former chair of the Challenger Commission, about Mascalzone's position and why they chose to take action at this time.

Read more at Valencia Sailing

Jury Findings Released from
Daubney Hearing

The New Zealand Herald reports that Alinghi's Simon Daubney tested positive for metabolites of cocaine, not cannabis as earlier reports have stated.  The Jury found that Daubney did not intentionally or knowingly break the anti-doping regulations.  The presence of the drug is believed to be related to a spiked drink he consumed shortly before the defense of the America's Cup last June, though other questions were also raised about the handling of the samples.

Read more at NZ Herald

Also: The text of the Jury decision in this case is available online at (pdf).  In addition to describing the supporting testimony for Daubney, the text also details issues raised about the chain of custody of the tested samples.

Daubney Resigns From Alinghi

Simon Daubney, a key member of Alinghi, has at least temporarily resigned from the team to deal with the aftermath of positive drug tests for cannabis last June.  Though both A and B samples showed the controlled substance, after hearing further testimony the America's Cup Jury returned a finding that there was no fault or negligence on his part.  "I am heartened and relieved that the Jury agrees with my contention that I was a victim of contamination and/or drink spiking," Daubney said.

Read more at NZ Herald

Squall sweeps through classic yacht race, including America's Cup boats sailing in the 12-meter World Championship, at the Regates Royales in Cannes, France. 
See more photos at Gilles
Photo: ©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget

Also of Interest:
 12m World Championship web site.

NEW: SNG/Alinghi and CNEV Make Amendments to the America's Cup 33 Protocol

A number of issues that provoked objections to the protocol signed by SNG and CNEV last July have been been addressed.

The changes are said to be based on feedback from current challenger candidates and discussions between Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth and BMW Oracle leader Russell Coutts.

Read the Press Release

Schümann Goes to UITG, Plus Big Sponsors and New Yacht

Jochen Schümann leaves Alinghi to head the German team, Audi joins United Internet as main sponsor, Porsche becomes technology partner, and UITG picks up Alinghi's yacht SUI-91.

Read more at UITG's site

And that's not all: Valencia Sailing is reporting that Jason Ker, head designer for Shosholoza (2007), is also joining UITG.

Read more at Valencia Sailing

NY Court Orders Parties to Submit Arguments, Does Not Grant Injunction

Read play-by-play coverage and insight from Corey E. Friedman at Scuttlebutt

From BMW Oracle: "We are very pleased with this decision, as we are keen to see this issue properly resolved with a minimum of further delay," Tom Ehman, Head of External Affairs for GGYC’s team, BMW Oracle Racing, said.

Read the Golden Gate Press Release

From Alinghi: The Judge set the 22 October as the date to hear legal arguments to resolve the central issue, which focuses on the validity of Club Nautico Español de Vela (CNEV), the Spanish challenge, accepted by the SNG after winning the 32nd America's Cup.

"Naturally we are pleased with this outcome which is another welcome positive result in this unfortunate legal process," said Hamish Ross, Alinghi General Counsel, adding: "As we had asked the Court, SNG will be submitting, as planned, its motion to dismiss the case entirely, and we look forward to having an opportunity to clear this matter up as quickly as possible on the date set by the Court."

Read Alinghi Press Release

Arbitration Panel Rules on CNEV

Alinghi Delighted

The America's Cup Arbitration Panel Saturday night September 8 published a ruling that Club Nautico Español de Vela is a valid challenger under the original Deed of Gift that governs the America's Cup.

Read the Press Release

Also: Arbitration Panel Confirms CNEV, Arbitration Panel rules they have the power to rule, and Arbitration Panel asks for changes to protocol regarding Arbitration Panel


See Full Text of Panel Ruling (86 pages, pdf)

Schnackenberg Will Consult on New Yacht Design

Schnackenberg describes his pleasure at the new appointment: "It is a huge challenge and for me that is part of the appeal. I have been intrigued by the prospect of the new rule since it was signaled after the Cup and am honored to have been invited to participate in its inception."

Read the Press Release

Captain Sarno Speaks for Shosholoza

Salvatore Sarno, Founder, Team Shosholoza: "A lot of speculations have been whispered around and even written in some specialized magazines. In order to avoid such a kind of thing I have decided that my crew, Shosholoza fans and the media deserve an explanation which will certainly help to understand my actions."

Read Captain Sarno's Statement

Alinghi and BMW Oracle Working Together to Find a Solution

From the International Herald Tribune: "Alinghi general counsel Hamish Ross said Wednesday that officials from both teams were in talks to find an out-of-court solution to the legal dispute between the two teams, after BMW Oracle Racing's Golden Gate Yacht Club filed a lawsuit in New York state court against Alinghi's Societe Nautique de Geneve in July."


Alinghi Moves Forward

Details of progress on preparations for the 33rd Defense of the America's Cup were discussed Wednesday by the Defender, Alinghi.  Among the items revealed, a Competitors Commission meeting will be held in the next few days, Valencia has been officially approved by the Spanish authorities to host the next defense, and the new yacht class rule will be issued by October 31st.  Described as "large, visually impressive state-of-the- arts boats", the new yachts will incorporate input provided during a consultation period over the the next several weeks.

Skipper Brad Butterworth also answered several questions surrounding pending legal disputes.

Q: It has been alleged that CNEV is a sham and not a legitimate Challenger of Record?

A: The legitimacy of the CNEV is unquestionable.  For the 32nd Americas Cup, Desafío Español represented the Spanish sailing community through the Federation and it was decided to create a new club that captured the essence of Spanish sailing.  This new Club incorporates the Americas Cup spirit in Spain and is chaired by the Vice Chairman of the Spanish Sailing Federation.  BMW Oracle Racing are attempting to undermine the challenge on two counts both of which are erroneous as there are several examples of clubs being formed specifically to challenge for the Americas Cup (including clubs from Australia, Japan, Germany, US and Canada) and of clubs holding regattas after submitting a challenge.  Furthermore, the credibility of the Spanish Challenge is further underlined by the strong performance demonstrated during the 32nd Americas Cup with them advancing to the Semi Final. 

Read more in the Press Release

Alinghi Defeats Emirates Team New Zealand to Defend the America's Cup

Alinghi Wins the 2007 America's Cup Match
See the Banner Headline

Photo: ©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/

Photo: ©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/

Photo: ©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/


 Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


  ETNZ NZL-92 (L)









  Alinghi SUI-100 (W)  1







The best-of-nine series began June 23rd.

Murray Jones at work.  Click to enlarge and view more.
©2007 Stephanie Lamy


America's Cup Match Coverage:

Race Results, Quotes and Reactions, Photos, and Daily Outlook for each race so far, plus preview and countdown stories:
See CupInfo's America's Cup Page

or jump to:
 Race 1  Race 2  Race 3
 Race 4  Race 5  Race 6  Race 7

Louis Vuitton Cup Regatta:

 Day-by-day results and re-cap:

ETNZ beat Italy's Luna Rossa: Finals Page   

Luna Rossa beat BMW Oracle (USA-98), and ETNZ beat Desafío Español (ESP-97):  Semi-Final Page

CupStats  Eight pages worth of statistics about the Rounds Robin and more:  leads, gains, passing, wind speeds, times, and more.   Presented for every team and as a fleet.

View full pages for each round, with day-by-day recaps and links to more:

 Round Robin 1    Round Robin 2

and Final Round Robin Standings

Combined Round Robin head-to-head records

Combined Round Robin won-loss only

Learn more about the Areva Penalty Turn: Explanation with diagrams

The official America's Cup web site previewed the head-to-head statistics for ETNZ and Luna Rossa in advance of their LVC Final series. 


Some Details of Next Defense Announced

Protocol Released

Significant Changes to Yachts Are Likely

Venue, Format, and  Dates Not Set

Hamish Ross, Michel Bonnefous, and Brad Butterworth announce new protocol for the next defense of the America's Cup.
©2007 Gilles Martin-Raget/

The location of the next defense of the America's Cup is scheduled to be announced by December 31, 2007.  A number of changes to the yacht design rule are suggested, though not guaranteed, including a jump in length to 90-foot waterlines and incorporating sliding keels.  The new version of the rule, if any will be announced by December 31, too.  Qualifying pre-regattas will use ACC version 5 yachts, and the Challenger Selection regatta would use the new rule yachts if they are in fact adopted. The date for the next defense is to be determined, between 2009 and 2011.

Brad Butterworth, Skipper, Alinghi, on the new America's Cup yachts, and other issues: "Everybody seems to want a new boat that is bigger, more exciting, difficult to sail, and faster, which is the emphasis behind it. So now we have to come up with a rule for it, and that will need a bit of hard work. I think that the timing of the event has got to meet those requirements, so the rule can come out with enough time and everybody can start designing and getting their tools, and designing and building the boat. It will probably take about 20,000 man hours to build a ninety-footer - it all takes it’s time. That is why the window of when the event is has to be a bit flexible, from the sailing point of view."

The biggest change in the competitive balance immediately apparent is that ACM will determine the format, process, and schedule for selecting the challenger yacht to challenge Alinghi, and that the defender may race in the challenger selection series themselves with the exception of the final challenger match.

The new protocol document for the 33rd Defense of the America's Cup is available online here (in pdf format).


Read a short story on the announcement at

Read some quotes from the Thursday Press Conference at

Golden Gate Yacht Club Contests Spanish Challenger's Legitimacy

Competing Challenge Filed: Defense in 2008

Dispute over Desafío Español as the new Challenger of Record for the next America's Cup

"The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) of San Francisco today presented a formal challenge for the 33rd America's Cup to the Société Nautique Genève (SNG), defending yacht club of Cup winner Team Alinghi." Read the club's press release

The challenger of record for the 33rd America's Cup, Desafío Español, is not a valid challenger under the terms of the deed of gift, according to the Golden Gate YC and the team that represented them in the 2007 America's Cup, BMW Oracle Racing.  At issue is whether the Spanish team's club, Club Nautico Español de la Vela (CNEV), satisfies the standing requirements to challenge for the trophy.  The CNEV was formed just weeks ago to replace an ad hoc sailing federation Desafío represented in the previous America's Cup.  The Deed of Gift under which teams compete for and hold the trophy says that any team which holds an annual regatta on the sea or an arm of the sea may challenge for the Cup.

"CNEV has never conducted a regatta of any kind and thus cannot be a legitimate Cup challenger..." a representative of the GGYC told the Reuters news service.  Read more at Reuters

"GGYC threw its hat into the ring now because it wants to be ready to assume that role should the Spanish challenge be struck out as being invalid," BMW Oracle Racing spokeswoman Jane Eagleson said.  Read more at International Herald Tribune

Terms of the formal challenge GGYC has submitted a to Alinghi include a 90-foot yacht owned by Oracle Racing and a defense to take place in July 2008: Read Golden Gate YC's challenge (pdf)

BYM News has a translation of the Spanish team's response: Read more at BYM News

Let the Music Begin

The dance between sought-after sailors and the teams seeking to sign them is in full swing.

July 10: CupInEurope reports Italian sources saying Francesco De Angelis is out at Luna Rossa.

July 9: Ben Ainslie to Britain's Origin from ETNZ? Or to Luna Rossa?  Read more at


Sailing World's Stuart Streuli takes a well-rounded look at the announcements regarding the 33rd defense and surrounding issues.

Read More at Sailing World

Butterworth Appears Set on Alinghi

Defending skipper Brad Butterworth is talking of staying with his current team, and describes TNZ as "autocratic". 

Read more at NZ Herald

Mascalzone Asks for Rules Changes

Vincente Onorato has released a statement asking all sides to try to find a resolution to the heated conflicts that have arisen in the America's Cup community in the last month over issues of fairness in the rules for the next defense.  Acknowledging that "all wish and expect to be part of an event in which winning has a lot of value through strong, tough but ultimately fair-play-based competition," the head of Mascalzone Latino seeks to promote an open discussion of certain changes in the new protocol that could help everyone to move forward productively.

Read the Press Release

News This Week

Arbitration Panel is appointed: Press Release

ACM will auction off some AC32 assets:
Press Release


Chris Law

British sailor Chris Law died July 24th at the age of 55, near Lake Constance, Germany.  Law was a top sailor in many classes, winning the Etchells World Championship, and finishing well in the Finn and the Soling in Olympic Competition.  He also had a high degree of success in big boat racing, winning the Fastnet Race and the Sydney-Hobart among many others.  He was a tough competitor and an excellent match racer.  Law was skipper of Crusader in the 1986 America's Cup, and he also sailed in 1983 with Victory and in 1995 with Australia's Sydney 95.

Read more:
Basics at and
a longer profile at Rule 69 Blog

More Tribute to Mitchell

Sailing World Magazine's Tony Bessinger has written a profile in tribute to sailing legend Carleton Mitchell, who passed away recently at the age of 96.

Read more at Sailing World

Dean Barker Explains Why ETNZ Filed Their Challenge

Dean Barker, Skipper, ETNZ: "The key reason is that it allows us to be involved in the design process for the new class, which is a very good incentive, when you are in a challenging position because of the extra time it gives you.  Certainly this time compared to over previous Cup campaigns we don’t have the breathing space to sit there and figure whether we’re able to get going by October (when the new rule is announced).  You have to be underway now."


Butterworth Goes After Ellison

Brad Butterworth, Alinghi Skipper, has sent a letter to Sailing Scuttlebutt laying out his position in the fast-growing controversies surrounding the next America's Cup and taking personal aim at Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Racing.

Brad Butterworth: "Last week Ernesto called Larry. Larry didn’t call back to continue a dialogue, and issued proceedings in the New York courts instead. Maybe that’s the way things happen at the Golden Gate Yacht Club when you come fifth, or maybe that’s just the privilege of the guy that owns the Club. Either way, Larry doesn’t have to enter if he doesn’t like the game."

Read more at Scuttlebutt

Valencia Will Host Again

ACM's Michel Bonnefous announced Wednesday that the Spanish city will be the venue for the 33rd defense of the America's Cup.  A fee of 105 million Euros will be paid by Spanish authorities in addition to costs of additional infrastructure upgrades estimated at 50 million Euros.

Two pre-regattas will be held, one in Valencia in the spring of 2008, one in the fall of 2008 in Europe.

Challenger selection series will begin in 2009.

The new yacht class will be decided by the end of October 2007, in consultation with the existing challenger. Ernesto Bertarelli described the new class as "More exciting and more vibrant."  One of the other goals will be to reduce cost by allowing two hulls to be built, but only one to be sailed at any time.  Boats will not be permitted to race each other except within an ACM event.  Bertarelli pointed out that one of the biggest costs is testing, and the boat limitations will "Reduce the amount of time wasting money going around the track without a competitive aim."  Because of this limitation, Alinghi must participate in the challenger series, in order to have opportunity to test against other teams.

Three teams have now filed challenges: South Africa's Shosholoza, Britain's Team Origin, and Team New Zealand. 

SNG have nominated an independent arbitration panel, and will shortly name an independent jury.  Oracle's actions in bringing a law suit will be presented to the arbitration panel.  Bertarelli characterized Oracle's actions as damaging, said that "Having failed to win on the water and barely finishing fifth" Oracle wanted to drag the event into the American court system.

Asked whether if BMW Oracle loses its legal actions, they would be permitted to become join the current challengers, Bertarelli responded that this is a day about sports, friendship, commitment, and trust, and does not need that kind of "bullshit".

Read more press conference coverage:

ACM Press Release

Sailing World Magazine

ETNZ Voices Frustration with Cup Controversies

Jim Farmer, legal spokesman, ETNZ, told the New Zealand Herald: "What are the rest of us supposed to do? We are very concerned that we have to sit on our hands while these two billionaires [Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli and Oracle syndicate head Larry Ellison] battle it out.

"It's all right for them but the other teams are dependent on commercial sponsorships and we do not have the luxury of playing these sort of games. We have to get a design team together, a sailing team, build a new boat and get sponsorship for a cup in less than two years."

Read more at NZ Herald

Coutts Calls for Changes

"The solution is very simple: go back to a protocol that made the last edition so successful," Russell Coutts told Agence France Press.  "Nobody really gave a justification for this new unacceptable protocol."

Read more at NZ Herald

Victory Challenge Supports Mascalzone Regarding Changes to Protocol

Bert Willborg, spokesman for Sweden's Victory Challenge, told BYM News: "We applaud Vincenzo Onorato’s initiative.  Not only do we applaud his initiative, but we whole heartedly endorse what he has said in his statement."

Read more at BYM News

Scroll down to see Onorato's Statement on behalf of Mascalzone or click here

Notice of Entry Made Public

The terms for Challenger Candidate to file to challenge Alinghi has been made available.


UITG Will Challenge

United Internet Team Germany will become a challenger candidate for the next America's cup.  The German team, finishing 11th in the Rounds-Robin of the Louis Vuitton Cup, has already signed Karol Jablonski from Desafío Español's 2007 effort.

From AFP: "German syndicate United Internet Team Germany confirmed on Sunday it will compete in the 2009 America's Cup race and hopes to recruit the services of Olympic gold-medalist Jochen Schuemann."

Read more at Yahoo Australia

Prada is Out of America's Cup

After 10 years and three challenges, Prada will not compete in the 33rd America's Cup.

Read the Press Release

Also see: "Farewell Patrizio" by Stuart Alexander

Russell Coutts Signs with Oracle

From the Guardian Unlimited: "Larry's given me pretty much a clean sheet of paper," Coutts told a conference call for reporters. "I've come to the conclusion we both thought very similarly about how to put together a winning team."

Read the Reuters story by Jane Barrett

Also: See photos at Valencia Sailing

Oracle Rallies Challengers

"There was pretty broad agreement among the challengers," Larry Ellison said.  "The outcome we'd like is to negotiate a reasonable protocol with Alinghi. Nobody wants it to go to court."

Read the Reuters Story via

SNG and Ellison Trade Statements

Fred Meyer, Vice-Commodore, Societe Nautique de Geneve: "It is disappointing that the GGYC appears to be devoting its energies to disrupting and damaging the America's Cup by attempting to secure an exclusive match for the trophy having failed to obtain the right to challenge through normal competition on two successive attempts, first in the 31st and then the 32nd America's Cup."

Larry Ellison, CEO, Oracle : "Our goal is to have a reasonable protocol with Alinghi. But you must understand—if you haven't read the protocol, you must read the protocol. The protocol says that if Alinghi doesn't like a challenger they may throw that challenger out of the Cup for any reason at their sole discretion. We think that's both unreasonable and unfair."

Read more at Sailing World Magazine

Full Text of SNG Statement:

Lawsuit Filed Against Alinghi Club

From IHT: Golden Gate filed a lawsuit in the State of New York's Supreme Court -- which has jurisdiction to settle all disputes in the competition -- against the Societe Nautique de Geneve, Alinghi's home yacht club.  In the suit, Golden Gate claimed CNEV, Desafío's yacht club, was an "invalid challenger" and that the Swiss yacht club was "engaging in self-dealing" by accepting the Spanish challenge.

Read more at International Herald Tribune

Also see: Top Cup scribe Stuart Alexander with plenty more to add to how things got this way and where they are going: Read the Bootsnboats Blog

Tuesday Forecast: Oracle plans Challenger's Conference: See

Venue Agreement in Sight:
Valencia apparently reaching terms with SNG/Alinghi:

Announcement expected Wednesday.

Team Origin: Third Challenger accepted by Alinghi: Yachting World

Shosholoza: Second Challenger accepted by Alinghi: South African Sailing

Carleton Mitchell

CupInfo salutes the life of Carleton Mitchell, who helped bring an understanding and a love of sailing to generations of sailors and fans.  When he wasn't off winning the Newport to Bermuda Race three times running, Mitchell provided evocative and incisive coverage of the America's Cup for many popular publications including "Sports Illustrated" and authored the classic book "Summer of the Twelves" about the 1958 Defense.  Such was his standing that he was the only person to have helmed both challenger Sceptre and defender Columbia, and this before the Cup match took place.  And such was his integrity that he brought his readers along but compromised no secrets in the process.

Moreover, he made unique contributions as a participant, achieving with Finisterre an example that changed the sport.  Best of all, Mitchell communicated to sailors of all types, whether serious ocean racers or hopeful day-dreamers, the rewards of sailing that go far beyond trophies and fame.

Carleton Mitchell passed away this week at the age of 96.  Read more at New York Times and

Also see: Time Magazine Article aboard Finsterre from 7/4/60 and Time Magazine "Fortunate Finisterre" 6/30/58

GBR-75 Sets Sail

Britain's new Team Origin took their recently purchased ACC yacht, formerly Alinghi's SUI-75, out for a shakedown cruise last weekend.


Louis Vuitton Not In It

Louis Vuitton, who began offering the Louis Vuitton Cup in 1983, will not sponsor the challenger regatta for the next America's Cup.  They have not ruled out participating in yachting in "another form".


Golden Gate Yacht Club Contests Spanish Challenger's Legitimacy

Competing Challenge Filed: Defense in 2008

Dispute over Desafío Español as the new Challenger of Record for the next America's Cup

"The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) of San Francisco today presented a formal challenge for the 33rd America's Cup to the Société Nautique Genève (SNG), defending yacht club of Cup winner Team Alinghi." Read the club's press release

The challenger of record for the 33rd America's Cup, Desafío Español, is not a valid challenger under the terms of the deed of gift, according to the Golden Gate YC and the team that represented them in the 2007 America's Cup, BMW Oracle Racing.  At issue is whether the Spanish team's club, Club Nautico Español de la Vela (CNEV), satisfies the standing requirements to challenge for the trophy.  The CNEV was formed just weeks ago to replace an ad hoc sailing federation Desafío represented in the previous America's Cup.  The Deed of Gift under which teams compete for and hold the trophy says that any team which holds an annual regatta on the sea or an arm of the sea may challenge for the Cup.

"CNEV has never conducted a regatta of any kind and thus cannot be a legitimate Cup challenger..." a representative of the GGYC told the Reuters news service.  Read more at Reuters

"GGYC threw its hat into the ring now because it wants to be ready to assume that role should the Spanish challenge be struck out as being invalid," BMW Oracle Racing spokeswoman Jane Eagleson said.  Read more at International Herald Tribune

Terms of the formal challenge GGYC has submitted a to Alinghi include a 90-foot yacht owned by Oracle Racing and a defense to take place in July 2008: Read Golden Gate YC's challenge (pdf)

BYM News has a translation of the Spanish team's response: Read more at BYM News

Let the Music Begin

The dance between sought-after sailors and the teams seeking to sign them is in full swing.

July 10: CupInEurope reports Italian sources saying Francesco De Angelis is out at Luna Rossa.

July 9: Ben Ainslie to Britain's Origin from ETNZ? Or to Luna Rossa?  Read more at


Sailing World's Stuart Streuli takes a well-rounded look at the announcements regarding the 33rd defense and surrounding issues.

Read More at Sailing World

Butterworth Appears Set on Alinghi

Defending skipper Brad Butterworth is talking of staying with his current team, and describes TNZ as "autocratic". 

Read more at NZ Herald

Golden Gate Releases Affidavit

Golden Gate YC has made public an affidavit filed August 22nd by Tom Ehman, Head of External Affairs, BMW Oracle Racing.  Not for the faint of heart, the 23-page document lays out in extensive detail Golden Gate's position and the issues they are raising in court in regard to the America's Cup protocol arrangements  made between Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) and Club Nautico Español de la Vela (CNEV) and the challenge Golden Gate YC submitted to SNG under the Deed of Gift.

Read the gory details at GGYC (pdf)

Also made available was a memorandum of law (pdf) that cites numerous legal points and precedents including relevant aspects of the 1988-90 conflict between San Diego YC and New Zealand's Mercury Bay club that resulted in the catamaran versus big boat match, along with some of the arguments presented in the affidavit cited above.  This document may be much more detail than the casual fan will want to read, indeed 28-pages of it, but we offer the link to it here for those who want to learn as much as possible about the issues expected to be addressed in legal hearings.

SNG Issues Statement

From ACM: "The Société Nautique de Genève, Alinghi and America’s Cup Management are very disappointed through the Golden Gate Yacht Club, has followed through with its threat and officially filed legal proceedings in the New York Courts."

Read the Media Statement

Golden Gate Suit Proceeds,
SNG Ordered to Respond

From the GGYC: The Supreme Court of the State of New York today granted an order sought by the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) requiring the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) to promptly answer a request to speed up the legal process for resolving its proposed new rules for defending the next America’s Cup.

"We would still prefer to negotiate a solution outside the court, but we see SNG as violating its responsibilities as Trustee, and we are fully prepared to go the legal distance if needed to stop the America’s Cup being subverted into a hopelessly one-sided event," he said.

Read the GGYC Press Release

Golden Gate also released a backgrounder document that summarizes their position and details what they are seeking:

From the GGYC: We believe that the challenge that has been accepted and the proposed Protocol are legally not acceptable as they breach the terms of the Deed of Gift that governs the Cup. This is based on our view that Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) has accepted an invalid challenge from a sham contender, and is seeking to impose an unprecedented one-sided set of rules that would damage the Cup as a genuinely competitive event.

Read the GGYC backgrounder

Working on it?

The Sail-World web site cites Gary Jobson in Sailing World magazine who reveals that Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth may be working behind the scenes to resolve some of the conflicts that have lead to lawsuits and somewhat bitter public accusations regarding the shape of the next America's Cup.  Old friends Coutts, now at BMW Oracle, and Butterworth, skipper of Alinghi, could be the key to finding a productive way for the Cup to proceed.

Read more at Sail-World

Eric Sharp, in the Detroit Free Press, roots for the cat vs. cat Cup : "I'd love to see big cats dicing around the course at 35-40 knots. Because multihulls don't turn as well as monohulls, tacking and jibing duels would be secondary to sheer speed.  And though the time to design and build boats would be short, the deep pockets of two motivated billionaire owners should produce the fastest racing yachts the world has seen."


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