The Match is On!

Justice Shirley Kornreich of the New York Supreme Court has told the two syndicates competing in the 33rd America’s Cup that she will not hear any further arguments between now and the time the competition is scheduled to begin in February—in effect giving the final go-ahead for some actual racing.

In recent weeks, challenger BMW Oracle capped off years of legal wrangling by claiming that defender Alinghi’s North 3DL sails are illegal because they were made at the North Sails plant in Minden, Nevada. The deed of gift (DoG), which governs all America’s Cup competition, prohibits teams from using boats built in another country. (Click here to read the DoG in its entirety.)

Alinghi, in response, said that while parts of the sails were from the United States, final assembly took place in the team’s native Switzerland, making them legal.

“This is excellent news,” said Alinghi team leader Ernesto Bertarelli. “We are delighted that BMW Oracle’s attempts to disqualify Alinghi and to win the America’s Cup in court have been denied. We look forward to meeting them on the start line here in Valencia on February 8 to race for the Cup, something they can no longer try to avoid.” In related news, the cup itself has now arrived in Valencia in anticipation of this month’s competition. It was shipped from the Socit Nautique de Genve in Switzerland, where it has been since 2003 when Alinghi won it from two-time winner, Team New Zealand.

On hand to welcome the trophy’s arrival were Bertarelli, Valencia mayor Rita Barber and Vicente Rambla, vice president of the region of Valencia.

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