Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing

Valencia January 13, 2010 – Can the Swiss defender race with sails made in the USA? This is the question Golden Gate Yacht Club put to the New York Supreme Court today.

GGYC has asked the Court to resolve this following the breakdown of two days of talks in Singapore with the America’s Cup defender Société Nautique de Geneve at which mutual agreement was being finalized when negotiations ended.

The Singapore meeting followed one last week in Valencia where a previous goodfaith effort was also made to settle the matter.

“Naturally we are disappointed to see the chance of agreement taken away,”
commented Coutts.

Also at the talks were David Kellett, from the International Sailing Federation’s
Executive Committee, and David Tillett, chairman of the International Jury for 33rd

Constructed-in-country is not a hypothetical question, but a fundamental one. The
Deed of Gift is clear. Without mutual consent and in the absence of other rules,
Alinghi, cannot construct sails in the USA and claim they are Swiss-made.

The New York Supreme Court has previously ruled on other key issues affecting
the yachts of the challenger and defender ahead of the Match; such as whether
engines can be used to power the winches and whether rudders are included in the
measurement of the yacht’s waterline length.

“Once again SNG is showing total disregard for the Deed. First SNG claimed that
sails were not part of the yacht. Then it claimed that Alinghi’s sails were built in
Switzerland, not the USA. Now, SNG is saying that ‘constructed-in-country’ is not
relevant until it announces its yacht for the Match.”

GGYC disagrees on all three counts.

13.01.2010 (15:29 CET) - Geneva, Switzerland - Société Nautique de Genève

BMW Oracle seeks to disqualify Alinghi and to win the America’s Cup in court

While Brad Butterworth, Alinghi skipper and Société Nautique de Genève representative, was in Singapore engaged in good faith discussions to resolve remaining issues ahead of the 8 February America’s Cup Deed of Gift Match in the presence of David Tillett, the chairman of the ISAF America’s Cup Jury, and David Kellett, the ISAF representative, BMW Oracle unilaterally aborted talks by filing their ninth lawsuit against the Société Nautique de Genève at the New York Supreme Court seeking to disqualify the Defender from the upcoming Match.

“BMW Oracle has already successfully disqualified 18 teams through the US courts to gain access to the Match, now they are seeking to win the Cup without ever racing for it,” said Brad Butterworth. “This latest lawsuit has come as a shock given we were planning a further meeting to finalise discussions today, it demonstrates extreme bad faith. Clearly they are not ready to race. They have completely disregarded the jurisdiction of the ISAF America’s Cup Jury, which they sought so hard to have instated, and have instead reverted to the New York courts where they clearly feel they have a greater chance of success,” he added.

SNG’s defending yacht has been constructed in Switzerland in compliance with the provision of the Deed of Gift. SNG disagrees with GGYC’s interpretation.

BMW Oracle’s statement that Alinghi will be using USA-made sails is wrong. The sails for the Match have been constructed in a sail loft in Villeneuve, Switzerland. Furthermore, the 3DL process of making sails is subject to Swiss intellectual property rights. The inventors of the process, Jean-Pierre Baudet and Luc Dubois, are two Swiss engineers. Every challenger and defender for the America’s Cup since 1995 has used 3DL Swiss technology based sails.

“BMW Oracle’s attempt to derail the America’s Cup, and disregard ISAF’s jurisdiction, and their continued unsportsmanlike behaviour is unacceptable,” said Fred Meyer, SNG vice-commodore. “Alinghi is ready to race on the 8 February as mandated by the 7 April 2009 court order,” he added. “We won the right to defend the America’s Cup on the water by winning the 31st and 32nd editions, we want to go racing, we do not want the outcome of the America’s Cup determined in court,” he concluded. -