Sunday, September 14, 2008

Alinghi fires back!

Alinghi responds to BMW Oracle Racing’s comments on the 33rd America’s Cup Protocol
Following yesterday's ‘Myth and Reality’ statement issued by BMW Oracle, Alinghi can only say that the team’s interpretation of the facts is perverse, partial and outdated.

Since the end of the 32nd America's Cup in July 2007, BMW Oracle has repeatedly proclaimed an unfair Protocol as justification for its destructive legal strategy. In its single-minded pursuit of a Deed of Gift Match against Alinghi, BMW Oracle has drastically weakened all 33rd America’s Cup challengers and when given the opportunity to get the America’s Cup back on the water the team refused Alinghi’s offer of a one-to-one multihull race in 2009 instead hoping for victory through forfeit.

The reality is that by the end of 2007, 12 challengers were ready to participate along with the Defender in a conventional multi-challenge event but BMW Oracle held the America’s Cup community hostage with its New York law suit. In August 2008, following the Appellate Division decision in favour of the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) and Alinghi, BMW Oracle once again chose to continue with its self-serving pursuit of a Deed of Gift Match by extending its legal strategy despite delaying proceedings and keeping the challengers out of business.

Anyone interested in the 33rd America’s Cup Protocol might find Alinghi team skipper Brad Butterworth’s interview in this month’s Seahorse magazine insightful. BMW Oracle’s accusations are false and outdated; they do not take into consideration the many concessions that the SNG/Alinghi and the Challenger of Record, Club Náutico Español de Vela (CNEV), have made in order to achieve a resolution to this dispute nor do they consider the number of amendments to the original Protocol that were introduced in collaboration with the entered challengers. Since launching its legal attack, what has BMW Oracle ever brought to the table other than demanding every point in discussion be resolved to its advantage?

BMW Oracle should not forget that it is the right and duty of the Defender of the America’s Cup, together with the Challenger of Record, to set the terms of the competition and to organise the next event. Alinghi has won the America’s Cup twice ‘fair and square’ on the water. The 32nd America’s Cup organised by AC Management was recognised by many to be the most successful America’s Cup ever. Alinghi strongly suggests to BMW Oracle to drop its law suit and enter the 33rd America’s Cup as a challenger – like the majority of teams have done – and to improve its track record on the water.

Despite BMW Oracle's continued PR and legal strategy Alinghi will continue to work towards a conventional multi-challenger America's Cup and is organising meetings for all challengers to gather and discuss the terms of the next event. -