33rd Americas Cup
At 8.37 pm the celebrated schooner “America” crosses the finish line to the sound of cannon fire from the Castle to win The Hundred Pound Cup, which later became known as The America’s Cup.
Painting by Tony Blake
As we get close to a final decision about the 33rd event, I thought it was time to start collecting the stories, rumours and lies.
Will Bertarelli get away with it?
04 May 2009
AMERICA’S CUP: You have to admire the bare faced cheek of Ernesto Bertarelli and Alinghi who, after having been told by the New York Court to get on with it and sail the America’s Cup, seemingly ignored the instruction and, instead, issued another action against Larry Ellison/BMW Oracle/GGYC.
After winning the legal battle by a landslide victory, Ellison must be wondering what will eventually get Bertarelli out on the water. And the New York Judges must be wondering quite what Bertarelli expects to achieve by dismissing out of hand their carefully considered judgement.
After BB suggested last week that Bertorelli’s manoeuvrings ought to put him in contempt of court, we were pleased to hear Ellison’s Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) had got the New York Court to issue an order directing the SNG to show why it should not be held in contempt of court.
Unperturbed by little things like the New York Court instructing him to do something, Bertarelli simply issued another action, going back to the worn-out tussle on BMW Oracle/GGYC/Ellison supplying details of its craft under the Deed of Gift requirements.
The GGYC’s latest statement on 4 May says: Having failed in its two year battle to remove Golden Gate Yacht Club as the rightful Challenger of Record, Société Nautique de Genève/Alinghi is making yet another groundless attempt to avoid the court’s final judgment and further delay the America’s Cup. We fully expect that the court will promptly resolve the custom house registry issue, as GGYC is in complete compliance with the Deed of Gift.
The contempt of court hearing is set for 09.30 on 14 May and SNG/Alinghi is expected to argue that other terms of the rules include a proviso that northern hemisphere events shall only be held between 1 May and 31 October.
According to The Independent, the front page of the court notice, signed by the Honourable Judge Kornreich, says: ‘Pursuant to Judiciary Law 756 and this court’s inherent remedial authority, please take notice that the purpose of this hearing, inter alia, is to punish defendant Societe Nautique de Geneve for contempt of court and such punishment may consist of a fine or imprisonment or both according to law.’
An added warning states: ‘Your failure to appear in court may result in your immediate arrest and imprisonment for contempt of court.’
Boating Buisness thinks the American term for this statement is probably ‘Way to go dude…’
Cory E. Friedman/Scuttlebutt
Part 37 – BFD – and I do not mean Black Flag Disqualification
“— Not so fast, Louis. Nobody’s going to be arrested. Not for while yet.” Richard Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), Casablanca, Warner Bros. Pictures, 1942.
(May 4, 2009) Not only are Société Nautique De Genève (SNG) and Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) back in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York with a hearing set for May 14, 2009, but they now have dueling motions. The whole thing is beginning to look a lot like trench warfare. To add to GGYC’s contempt motion over the match date, we now have SNG’s motion to disqualify GGYC as Challenger of Record for want of a Custom House registry, or in the alternative, to require a Custom House registry within 30 days.
There is a lot less here than meets the eye. Nobody will be held in contempt and nobody will be disqualified. The Court will likely rule that, barring agreement (and world peace), the date set in the Judgment (February 2010) really, really, really is the date and GGYC will have to provide a Custom House registry within some reasonable time period. BFD – and I do not mean Black Flag Disqualification. Justice Cahn was presented with all of the arguments regarding the dates and the hemispheres and obviously concluded that his Order (now a Judgment) complied with the Deed. Figure it out.
High Hoe, High Hoe,
Its off to court we go
…. again… and again… and again….and again
High Hoe, High Hoe, High Hoe, HIGH HOE!
I love this game
SNG in contempt of court…
New York, NY, April 28, 2009 – At Golden Gate Yacht Club’s request, the
Supreme Court of the State of New York today issued an order directing the
defender, Société Nautique de Genève, to show cause why it should not be held
in contempt of court. SNG has refused to comply with the Court’s April 7, 2009
Order and Judgment concerning the dates for the next America’s Cup match.
The court scheduled a hearing for May 14, 2009 at 0930.
So is that really it? With yesterday’s meeting in Geneva between representatives of Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing ending in discord, does this really mean we’re definitely going to see a DoG match for the 33rd America’s Cup?
Seems like posturing to me. I thought it just marked the first chapter of some further protracted negotiations (aka arguments) that will lead nowhere other than waste more time.
If the rumour of a 115-foot twin-rigged catamaran is true, then the 33rd America’s Cup will be a naval architect’s wet dream.
Team Philips, Pete Goss’s ill-fated catamaran
Photo credit: Carlo Borlenghi/Alinghi
Alinghi, will be ready to race their 90x90ft boat in 2010
James Spithill talks
Sailing Anarchy sleuths have pin pointed some new activity at the Decision building facility in Villeneuve, Switzerland.
There is lots of chatter about how it might look
Lots of options, we will just have to wait and see.
By Cory E. Friedman/Scuttlebutt
Part 35 – Court of Appeals straightens it all out
“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln.
(April 2, 2009) There is a famous photograph of Joe DiMaggio’s swing in which the Yankee Clipper demonstrates seemingly effortless power. Today, the New York Court of Appeals demonstrated the same effortless power as it made crushing Société Nautique De Genève (SNG) look as easy as DiMaggio or Ruth crushing one deep into the stands. Just another day’s work applying the KISS principle on Eagle Street.
Indeed, the unanimous decision, which only cites a single case other than Mercury Bay and no statutes, is so straightforward and accessible that there is little to explain. Having means having, not going to have, wanting to have, thinking about having, or day dreaming about having. Annual means you have done it at least once and plan to do it every year thereafter. In other words, the Deed means what it says and what it says is what everyone has to live with. All that remains is sweeping up SNG’s flaming wreckage.
The interesting issues are where we go from here and some of the subtle things the court wrote to dissuade a SNG reappearance in court. (Irony challenged ‘Buttheads on a jihad against lawyers, the legal system, and traditional notions of fair play should jump ship here, before I cause them to hit the send button.) The court reversed the Appellate Division and reinstated now retired Justice Cahn’s “orders” – all of them. A nice belated Valentine for Justice Cahn.
part 1 – 35 here
COURT OF APPEALS DECISION RELEASED
State of New York, Court of Appeals announced their decision this morning, finding the defender Société Nautique Genève (SNG) had breached their fiduciary duty and has instructed that the America’s Cup shall be returned to the custody of the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) who will conduct a two boat challenge between SNG and Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) in Long Island Sound no later than September 1, 2009.
Judge Judy Smith, writing the decision stated, “The defender (SNG) has clearly ignored the spirit of the Deed of Gift by creating a challenger yacht club Club Nautico Español de Vela (CNEV) to gain an advantage and rewrite a set of rules that have served the Cup well for many years.”
The GGYC challenge is approved and NYYC shall act as escrow agent and shall conduct a best of seven series from their base in Newport, RI. The race dates should be announced next week. SNG shall immediately transfer the Cup to NYC as escrow agent, but first check the date of the release
latest court decisions here
Brad Butterworth, team skipper and four-time America;s Cup winning tactician talks to SPORTSWORLD about the LVPS in Auckland…
Alinghi finished 5th in the Marseille International Match Race today, the first of the World Match Race Tour, that next travels to Germany…
Alinghi is back on the International Match racing circuit after a four year hiatus – during which the team successfully defended the America’s Cup – and the guys are glad to be here, as Ed Baird, helmsman and three-time world match racing champion explains: “The way it went for us yesterday [with Adam Minoprio, the young New Zealander beating Alinghi 3-2 in the quarter finals] is exactly why we need to be here on the Tour. We need to come back here and make the mistakes at this level and live with the consequences.” His crew mate, mainsail trimmer, Warwick Fleury was last on the Tour regularly 10-15 years ago with fellow New Zealand sailors Brad Butterworth, Russell Coutts and Simon Daubney. The veteran match racer has noticed some changes: “Today the depth of talent is all the way through the fleet whereas – certainly 10-15 years ago when we were doing it more regularly – only about half the teams were at the top level. There are not many weak teams here today; they are all certainly more than capable of beating any of the top teams.” He has also noted an evolution in the tactics employed by the younger fleet: “My impression is that tactically it is perhaps a bit more aggressive now. There are some match racing moves that have developed and evolved, which is interesting.” Warwick and his team mates of old came from a different background, more fleet than match racing whereas the more recent Match Tour competitors focus on the match race discipline more exclusively. “A lot of them have come up – even in terms of their training – through the youth schemes, like the one in NZ, that concentrate on match racing. And for a lot of them that is all the sailing they have done, aside from some dinghy sailing pre- youth scheme. The result is that they have got very, very good at the discipline.” Is the Match Tour still a breeding ground for future America’s Cup teams? “These sailors are good at what they do and we will see them in the America’s Cup future for sure,” said Warwick.
The racing has been good for the whole crew, bowman Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen and trimmer Lorenzo Mazza have also been away from the Tour since 2005 to concentrate on winning the Cup again. “If you think about how many races we have had this week, how many starts, how many tacks and gybes and sets, it’s just been fantastic; it’s exactly what we need to do,” said Ed after racing yesterday evening. “The reality is we’re not ready to win an event like this yet because we have just started doing it again; it’s been a lot of years and we have just got to get back into it.”
The team is now waiting – as is the much wider sailing world – for the New York Court of Appeal judges to allow for the multi-challenge 33rd America’s Cup starting with pre-regattas in June/July and again October, with the match in 2010. Meanwhile the America’s Cup Defender continues to prepare for all eventualities: the match racing team will race some of the Tour events, while other team members will race on the Décision 35 on Lake Geneva and others the Vrolijk 66 Numbers.
It’s mine…. and…. I want to keep it.
The Deed Is in Need of a Makeover
It’s time to update the Deed to ensure the future of the America’s Cup.
“Jobson Report” from our April 2009 issue
By Gary Jobson
I have followed the America’s Cup for 50 years, and over this span I have witnessed it from every angle: as young spectator, crewmember, organizer, committee member, commentator, and now bewildered observer. I have studied its history, interviewed all the prominent players, and tried hard to make sense of the developments as they have occurred of late. While Cup races always look glorious in retrospect, there has been intrigue and controversy in all 32 matches dating back to the competition’s inception in 1851. But the deplorable series of events that have transpired since the conclusion of the 32nd regatta in Valencia, Spain, have taken the Cup to a new low. Looking ahead, it is time for the America’s Cup to be reorganized so it can thrive.
While sitting in the New York Court of Appeals in Albany, N.Y., in February for the final round of litigation between the Golden Gate YC and Société Nautique de Genève, I studied the surrounding walls of the ornate wood-paneled courtroom. Portraits of judges past peered down from all sides. They looked stern and important. It reminded me of the portraits of past Commodores at the New York YC, and this led me to wondering what the Cup sailors of the past would think of the current state of the event. At one point during the February trial, one of the appellate judges remarked that we couldn’t bring George Schuyler back to explain his intentions so we need to interpret his thoughts. It sure would be nice to know exactly what Schuyler intended.
At this writing, it’s difficult to forecast how the appellate court will rule. If it were up to me, I would rule in favor of the Golden Gate YC. The Spanish yacht club, Club Náutico Español de Vela, was formed specifically for the America’s Cup: it had no members, annual regatta, or standing to be the Challenger of Record. SNG’s attorney, Barry Ostrager, made a theatrical show at the appeals hearing, stating that BMW Oracle was trying to win in court what they have been unable to on the water, and that there were 19 challengers building and prepping boats for racing in July 2009. To the best of my knowledge, not a single boat has been or is being built, with the exception of two multihulls.
Such an inaccurate comment demonstrates what is wrong with SNG’s case. The Swiss team’s owner Ernesto Bertarelli simply wants to control every aspect of the regatta. Most egregious is the demand that his team be permitted to participate in the challenger trials.
33rd America’s Cup
AC33: The new America’s Cup yacht design rule goes live
The AC33 has been designed through consultation between the Defender, the Challenger of Record and the 17 other entered teams and the process was headed by Tom Schnackenberg as the class rule and competition regulations consultant for AC Management. Designers and team managers from the 19 America’s Cup syndicates met regularly in Geneva, Switzerland, and Valencia, Spain, since the design process began in early November 2008.
This group agreed to develop a boat similar in cost to the America’s Cup Class Version 5.0 boat, but with a more exciting performance. The AC33 Rule evolved to a race yacht of 26m maximum length overall, with 5m of draft and a displacement of 17.5tonnes.
The sail plan area is greater than with the ACC Version 5.0 but without overlapping headsails, and as with the AC90 Rule contemplated in 2007, the boat has a bowsprit and the spinnaker area is limited only by sheeting constraints, not by measurement of dimensions. Given the lighter displacement, the AC33 will be more demanding to sail upwind, and will provide sparkling performance on the runs. Maximum beam is 4.8m, which will seem wide to people used to the appearance of the Version 5.0 yachts, where the last generation of yachts had a beam not much more than 3m in many cases.
Some great images from PPL
30 years of Americas Cup collection here
The Herreshoff Marine Museum and America’s Cup Hall of Fame are dedicated to the education and inspiration of the public through presentations of the history and innovative work of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and the America’s Cup competition.
Photos by Bob Covarrubias