Saturday, October 6, 2007

Battling billionaires may cease fire

Up until this point, it has appeared that the unflinching stare-down between Ellison and Bertarelli would continue all the way into court - meaning a lengthy delay and the possibility (if Oracle won) of a two-team race-off for the next Cup in 90ft trimarans.

However, there are two reasons for some belief that an accommodation could be close.
First, experienced Spanish journalist Pedro Sardina, from the newspaper ABC, is close to Desafio Espanol, the Spanish Challenger of Record, and has claimed that Coutts and Butterworth have thrashed out an agreement which will see the Cup delayed until 2010, so challengers have a better chance to get to grips with the new 90-foot boat that Alinghi have proposed for the next Cup.

Second, the Herald on Sunday has heard similar suggestions, from different sources, that the two skippers have agreed - although there are no firm indications that either or both have managed to persuade their billionaires to settle.

Bertarelli is in New York at present and that is an obvious stage for any rapprochement to take place before October 22.