GOLDEN GATE YACHT CLUB
#1 Yacht Road, San Francisco, California USA 94123
October 8, 2009
Mr. Fred Meyer
Chairman, SNG America’s Cup Committee
Société Nautique de Genève
Dear Vice Commodore Meyer:
This letter is in reply to your letter of October 4, 2009. I again refer you to our letters of May 20, 2009, May 23, 2009, June 19, 2009, July 8, 2009, and July 28, 2009, as well as our most recent letter of October 1, 2009.
In those letters we made it clear to you, repeatedly, that SNG must choose a Deed-compliant venue for the 33rd America’s Cup, and that we do not view Ras Al Khaimah as Deed-compliant.
In the face of those letters, that SNG and Alinghi proceeded to set up shop in Ras Al Khaimah is no one’s fault but your own. To repeat, any expense SNG or any of its affiliates, Ras Al Khaimah, or any other party, has incurred in pursuing RAK as the venue remains solely your or their own responsibility.
We reject each and every one of the unfounded and irresponsible assertions made in your October 4, 2009 letter regarding GGYC, BMW ORACLE Racing, Russell Coutts and Tom Ehman. Moreover:
• The fact that there has been yacht racing, or other sports events, in Dubai, or that companies including two of our team’s title partners do business in the UAE, is well documented. RAK, however, is not Dubai. For you to suggest that it is indicates that you have been badly briefed or worse.
• Your assertion that we have relocated personnel and equipment to RAK is false. In a good-faith attempt to evaluate RAK, we sent a few team members and recon-related equipment to RAK, temporarily, to conduct our due diligence on whether we could mutually consent to RAK as a Deed non-compliant venue.
• The closing assertion in your letter of October 4th that GGYC must “race the match at the selected venue, or forfeit” is yet another disheartening example of SNG’s reckless disregard for the America’s Cup Deed of Gift and the Judgment and Orders of the New York courts.
Nonetheless, in our continuing efforts to find solutions we invited Dr. Khater Massaad, special advisor to H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi and RAK’s Minister of Tourism, to come to California later this week for meetings with senior GGYC and BMW ORACLE Racing representatives. Importantly, we reaffirmed the invitation to Dr. Massaad after we filed our venue motion, and stated that it was more important than ever that the meeting proceed. Subsequently, Dr. Massaad accepted the invitation, sent us his flights details, and requested a chauffeur to the meeting. You will understand our surprise to read yesterday’s email from Dr. Massaad informing us that he now will not meet with us unless and until GGYC agrees to race in RAK.
We would have thought that, if SNG and RAK were serious about addressing our reservations about RAK, Dr. Massaad’s coming to California to meet us was not just desirable but imperative. It is the first time we have heard of a Minister of Tourism who said, “Commit to coming to my country and then I will come tell you why you should.” Dr. Massaad’s sudden change heart is disappointing to say the least.
We note the court has already set a hearing on October 27th for our venue motion, and we hope the matter will be quickly resolved so that racing for the 33rd America’s Cup can proceed as scheduled next February.
Once again we confirm our commitment to meet with your representatives to mutually agree on the venue and terms for the Match.
GOLDEN GATE YACHT CLUB
cc: Ernesto Bertarelli, Team Alinghi
Brad Butterworth, Team Alinghi
Russell Coutts, BMW ORACLE Racing
Tom Ehman, BMW ORACLE Racing
Larry Ellison, BMW ORACLE Racing