It’s ON

By David Schmidt

Or it’s off, depending on your point of view. Today, Justice Herman Cahn ruled that he is upholding his November 27, 2007 decision that Golden Gate Yacht Club (BMW Oracle Racing – BOR) will be the challenger of record for the 33rd America’s Cup. This means that unless Alinghi tries for more legal action, which they apparently renounce, (and unless Alinghi and BOR can come to terms on a mutually acceptable protocol for a multiple-challenger match–highly doubtful), then the 33rd Cup will be a Deed of Gift Challenge. For readers who haven’t been paying close heed to this matter, this means that Alinghi and BOR will meet each other in 90-foot multihulls.

For BOR this is great news; for Alinghi it’s pretty bad, but for the other teams who are also interested in vying for the Cup, it’s terrible. Team New Zealand recently had to lay off some of its team members, placing them on retainer but no longer needing their full-time services, and other teams have had to do the same. (BOR skipper Russell Coutts has used this opportunity to pluck a few plums from Team NZ’s roster.)

As to the "where" for the 33rd America's Cup, this decision rests in the care of Ernesto Bertarelli, so stay tuned for more information as it emerges.

As it stands, the 34th America’s Cup (a multi-challenger affair) can be expected to be contested in Valencia, Spain in 2011. For teams that are less financially endowed than others, this is a long time frame in which to secure and hold sponsors for an event meanwhile invisible from the radar of popular culture.

For more, see Kimball Livingston's blog at SAIL WEST.

To read the court document, click here.

Posted: March 18, 2008

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