Oracle wins court battle - Sail Magazine

Oracle wins court battle

When a final-arbiter court in April ruled 6-0 against Alinghi’s artificially inseminated Spanish challenger, the mantle of Challenger of Record for the next America’s Cup match passed to Larry Ellison’s American team, BMW Oracle Racing/Golden Gate Yacht Club. Thus passed two years of wrangling and climbing through the highest courts of New York, where the America’s Cup Deed of Gift was
Author:
Publish date:

When a final-arbiter court in April ruled 6-0 against Alinghi’s artificially inseminated Spanish challenger, the mantle of Challenger of Record for the next America’s Cup match passed to Larry Ellison’s American team, BMW Oracle Racing/Golden Gate Yacht Club. Thus passed two years of wrangling and climbing through the highest courts of New York, where the America’s Cup Deed of Gift was incorporated in 1877.

americas_cup_alinghi

Only an established yacht club may challenge for the Cup. Club Nautico Espaol de Vela, hastily thrown together inside the Cup village in Valencia (apparently under tutelage of the defender, Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi/ La Socit Nautique de Genve) was ruled illegitimate. The outcome followed a cycle of rulings in favor of BMW Oracle, followed by a lower-appellate ruling in favor of Alinghi, followed by this ultimate reversal by the New York State Court of Appeals.

In hindsight, Alinghi overreached in creating a protocol assigning unprecedented powers and control to the defender, terms that only a “lapdog” challenger would have accepted. Available arguments were many, but the final ruling turned upon a narrow point.

Consider the meaning of the word “having,” as in the phrasing of the Deed of Gift, which limits a challenger to an organization, “having for its annual regatta an ocean water course on the sea, or an arm of the sea.” Ellison’s attorneys contended, that an organization formed with the intent of someday staging a race does not fulfill the meaning of “having”.

What next? The outside-your-box challenge that Ellison filed in July, 2007, naming a 90-foot multihull, was legitimized. But Ellison’s publicly stated aim was to force Bertarelli to renegotiate toward a more-balanced format. Ellison’s 90-foot trimaran (a second version has been rumored) was built as a hammer, he said, leaving all possibilities open. Soon after the court ruling, the commodores of all previous Cup-winning clubs published a letter urging compromise. And that, as we went to press, was the state of play.

Related

SouthernOcean

The 50th Anniversary of the Golden Globe

Here we go! The 50th anniversary of the Golden Globe, the first singlehanded nonstop round-the-world race, is upon us. On July 1 one tribute event, the Golden Globe Race 2018, will start out of Les Sables d’Olonne, France, with a fleet of 19 amateur skippers setting out in ...read more

180621-X01-Landing-Page

Volvo Ocean Race Cliffhanger

After racing over 44,000 miles round the world and battling their way past the world’s great capes, including the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, it’s all come down to the final 700-mile leg from Gothenburg, Sweden, to the Hague. Brunel, Mapfre, Dongfeng: going into the ...read more

Stearns Photo

Racing the Solo Mac for a Cause

There are plenty of reasons to do a Chicago-Mac race, and Rich Stearns, who has done literally dozens of ‘em should know. This year, though, he’s doing the Solo-Mac for an especially important reason: to help those with prostate cancer.“Two years ago, I was diagnosed with ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comRafting dangerOne unseen danger when sailing yachts lie alongside one another for a convivial night is that if they happen roll to a wash or begin to move in an unexpected sea, the spreaders can clash ...read more

180615-01 Lead

A Dramatic Comeback in the Volvo

After winning three of the last four legs in the Volvo Ocean Race (and coming in second in the fourth), Dutch-flagged Brunel is now tied for first overall with Spanish-flagged Mapfre and Chinese-flagged Dongfeng following the completion of Leg 10 from Cardiff, Wales, to ...read more

MFS-5-2018-Propan-SP02

Tohatsu LPG-powered 5hp Propane Motor

Gassing it UpTired of ethanol-induced fuel issues? Say goodbye to gasoline. Japanese outboard maker Tohatsu has introduced an LPG-powered 5hp kicker that hooks up to a propane tank for hours of stress-free running. Available in short-, long- or ultra-long-shaft versions, the ...read more