Racing

BMW Oracle Appeals Court Ruling

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A terse statement from BMW Oracle Racing announces the expected appeal of last week's court ruling:

Valencia, Spain, 1 August 2008: The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) said today it has lodged an appeal against this week’s decision of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court. “We believe the Challenger of Record has to be a real yacht club. It cannot be something that is manufactured with a defender to set up a one-sided event. This decision would set an absurd precedent,” Tom Ehman, the club’s spokesman said. “We believe we have an excellent case for winning on appeal.” Because it was a split decision among five judges the club has an automatic right of appeal. Ehman said the club looked forward to obtaining a result that will end any further legal dispute.

And Alinghi responds with an attempt to frame the public, not the legal, debate:

New York (USA) - (1 August 2008) Earlier this week the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Socit Nautique de Genve (SNG) declaring Club Nutico Espaol de Vela (CNEV) the rightful Challenger of Record for the 33rd America’s Cup and denying the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) this status.

After wasting more than a year in litigation and losing arguments, BMW Oracle has gone to court for the second time to force its strategy of eliminating numerous America’s Cup teams entered as legitimate challengers.

Brad Butterworth, team skipper of Alinghi and four-time America’s Cup winner, comments: “I’m disappointed that given the opportunity for a multi-challenger competition as a result of the Appellate Court decision, BMW Oracle has chosen to further delay the 33rd America’s Cup.”

SNG and CNEV have already made plans to organise the most competitive and spectator friendly America's Cup challenger series in history and that despite BMW Oracle’s unsuccessful year-long attempt to preclude competition and turn the America's Cup into a two team duel. BMW Oracle is now attempting to further delay and frustrate the conduct of the America's Cup by filing a frivolous, but time consuming appeal.

BMW Oracle was unable to advance to the final round of the America's Cup in the 31st and 32nd events, having been eliminated in the challenger series on each occasion. SNG and the entire sailing community is offended by BMW Oracle’s attempts to accomplish through expensive litigation initiatives what it has never been able to achieve on the water, which is to be a finalist in the America's Cup.

SNG, by contrast, won the 31st America's Cup by winning the challenger series and defeating the then Cup holder and then successfully defended the trophy in the 32nd America's Cup. SNG seeks to defend the Cup against the opponent who proves the strongest by winning the challenger series on the water. When given the opportunity for a regatta against the Defender Alinghi, BMW Oracle clearly demonstrated its intent to win through legal manoeuvering rather than accept competing fairly on the water.

Determined readers will find the text of the BMW Oracle Racing Appeal, which should honestly, truly be the last stage of legal wrangling, here.

Posted August 3 by KL

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