Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dear Russell....

Open letter to BMW Oracle Racing

Dear Russell,

The reasons that induced me to write this open letter stem from the respect I have towards you and your team.

AYRE challenged for the America’s Cup more than a year ago, hoping to take part in a competition that thanks to the excellent organization set up by ACM and the Valencian and Spanish public institutions became a world reference and example of what a global sports competition should aspire to.

The success of the 32nd edition in the summer of 2007 in Valencia surpassed all expectations and was also due to the active participation of all Teams, with BMW Oracle Racing undoubtedly being a clear example. AYRE was born because of the 32nd edition being so successful.

Unfortunately, any judicial procedure in any field causes serious setbacks to the proper development of any activity and in this particular case all teams are suffering from this eternal lawsuit that, without pointing any fingers, looking for reasons or blaming anyone, has paralyzed the 33rd edition of the Cup.

Alinghi has recently decided to get sailing back on track and reactivate the organization. They have gathered all teams that have legally entered and started a process of rebuilding the competition. I truly believe this was the correct procedure because the current situation is greatly detrimental to all involved but also to the image of the America’s Cup.

After three meetings in Geneva, all participating teams have been able to confirm Alinghi’s predisposition to carry out the necessary modifications to the Protocol, the Event and Competition Regulations, as well as the design of the new box-rule, in a completely democratic way. As a result, great advances have been achieved in a short time.

AYRE considers that at this moment we objectively have the evidence that demonstrates the change in situation. Race Officials will be selected from ISAF officials. The Protocol and the Event and Competition Regulations are being modified in a democratic way, open to all registered Challengers.

We believe that going back to an exhaustive 10-point list, most of which have already been addressed, is not the most cordial way to reach an agreement. Nor is it a considerate gesture towards the teams present in the meetings.

We want to believe BMW Oracle Racing wish, as they have repeatedly stated, the return to an open competition, open to all Challengers, as soon as possible.

AYRE thinks that at this moment the only important issue is to break the current deadlock, without any accusations or analysis, without declaring winners or losers in a dispute that has hurt all parts equally.

The only important issue is to remedy the reasons that caused BOR’s action, within the democratic framework Alinghi has put in place with all the teams participating in the 33rd America’s Cup. A DoG Match will irreversibly damage the possibility of having a multi-challenger edition in the near future.

As a challenger that represents the prestigious Yacht Club of Denia, one of Valencia’s and Spain’s most important yacht clubs, we think that the effort and patience shown by the Valencian and Spanish public institutions should not be wasted.

The deadline for inscription in the 33rd America’s Cup is on December the 15th. After that date, no team will be able to join. AYRE thinks that BMW Oracle Racing’s presence is essential and its absence will strongly weaken the competition. We also think that BOR has the right to participate, as long as it’s done before the deadline and within the formal framework.

Let this friendly letter be a demonstration of our admiration towards a team that through its perseverance and capacity has demonstrated that, despite suffering sports setbacks, because of its spirit of fair competition it has been able to come back and compete.

Dear Russell, the America´s Cup needs the three-time winner of the world’s oldest and most prestigious sports event, and probably the world’s best sailor, to be part of it, adding to its prestige.

Pedro Perelló
CEO, AYRE CHALLENGE - http://www.ayrechallenge.com/?nid=51426