Back to the beginning

The Court of Appeals, New York state’s highest court, has found that the Spanish yacht club, Club Nautico Espanol de Vela, cannot be the challenger of record for the next America’s Cup match even though it had been given that distinction by Ernesto Bertarelli’s team who sailed for the Societe Nautique de Geneve yacht club of Switzerland, after it had won the last America’s Cup match held off Valencia, Spain, in July 2007.

Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing had been a challenger for San Francisco’s Golden Yacht Club in that event and the group immediately challenged the validity of the Spanish yacht club because it had not held an annual regatta ‘on an ocean water course on the sea or an arm of the sea or one which combines both’ before issuing its challenge. That requirement is one of four that are specifically spelled out in the Cup’s Deed of Gift.

Because the Spanish club had not fulfilled this condition the New York court removed it and made the Golden Gate Yacht Club the challenger of record for the next match. The court also urged the Society Nautique de Geneve and Golden Gate to begin working together to get the America’s Cup back on track as a friendly competition between foreign countries.

But with both yacht clubs now building one, and possibly more, 90-foot multihulls for a best out of three match race event that must take place under the terms of the Deed of Gift if the defender and challenger can’t agree on the conditions for the next match—among them details boats, multiple challengers and location—when and where the next America’s Cup match will take place still is very much a work in progress.

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