33rd Americas Cup
There is finally an agreement!!
From left Lucien Masmejean (Alinghi counselor), Rita Barberá (Valencia mayor), Gerardo Camps (Valencia regional minister of Economy) and Tom Ehman (BMW Oracle head of External Affairs)
Teams will use current bases
According to Rita Barberá, Valencia mayor, the first major agreement reached by all parties is that both teams will use their current bases inside the Port America’s Cup as their main operation bases. Both multihulls will be docked in front of the bases, just like they did in the 32nd America’s Cup. Given their extraordinary size, the two teams will have to use the adjacent bases (+39 Challenge in Alinghi’s case and Shosholoza in BMW Oracle’s case) or any other space necessary. In fact, the port’s maintenance crews have already taken apart the fences that separated the bases.
Still, the Valencia Port Authority will provide additional space, inside the commercial port, in case the two yachts need it under adverse weather conditions. Both yachts might encounter problems entering the canal under high waves since it hasn’t been designed for such wide boats and as a result they might need to seek refuge somewhere else.
Organization of the event
First of all, the two organizational aspects of the event will be separated. On one hand the purely sporting issues will be handled by Alinghi while Valencia will organize the rest of the event.
For that reason, four working parties have already been constituted and they will start working from Monday morning on a continuous basis. Time is very short and with less than two months until the first starting gun is fired there is no time to waste.
The first working party will be in charge of finances, the second one will take care of operational and logistical issues, and the third one will handle television, marketing and promotion of the event as well as hospitality and public entertainment. Finally, the fourth working party will concentrate solely on the organization of the sailing competition.
Part 46 – Maybe a February 2010 match was optimistic
“What a Difference A Day Makes.” Maria Grever and Stanley Adams (Dinah Washington).
(October 4, 2009) – As autumn approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, the leaves are starting to fall, but not as fast as paper in the America’s Cup battle between Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) and Société Nautique De Genève’s (SNG) are landing.
Just as GGYC finished briefing its motion to renew its rules motion, it served a motion to throw out Ras al-Khaimah (RAK) as the venue for the February Match. SNG then used a letter about a routine scheduling issue to lay out the broad strokes of its response to GGYC’s venue motion. In the anti-climax of the month, GGYC submitted its long sought Certificate of Documentation, which is devoid of useful information save the basis for calculating how many barrels of Mount Gay Rum USA can carry as movable ballast and/or refreshment. At the rate this is going, I am going to have to start batch processing the papers. The seasonal metaphor will probably change from falling leaves to white out blizzard conditions.
By switching from motions brought on by orders to show cause, to motions brought on by 16 day notices of motion, GGYC gets to file reply papers responding to SNG’s papers answering the motion. On the rules motion, GGYC has put its reply to good use, easily covering and slam dunking SNG. Even more importantly, having the last word allows GGYC to organize the dispute in a nice, neat, user friendly bundle for Justice Kornreich.
Their four major points are:
1) SNG cannot change its pre-challenge rules;
2) GGYC’s boat may not exceed, but need not match its challenge dimensions;
3) Rudders do not count in measuring load water line (LWL); and,
4) Movable ballast must be on board when LWL is measured.
On each of the four major points, GGYC anchors its position in the Deed and sailing practice in George Schuyler’s day. (Disclosure of the ISAF – SNG Agreement is now moot.) In contrast to SNG’s personal attacks and unfocussed rants, GGYC’s reply is calm, cool and collected, making its arguments clearly and cogently. It is readily accessible to lay readers.
Tom Ehman’s Response to Release of the ‘Secret’ Agreement.
Golden Gate Yacht Club’s spokesman Tom Ehman has released an official statement following a version of the ISAF/SNG agreement being made public in recent days.
Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) re-asserts its reasonable request that the 33rd America’s Cup be sailed under the undoctored International Sailing Federation (ISAF) rules and not some hybrid version which the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) has tailored for its own benefit under the scope granted to it in the secret agreement struck with ISAF.
This agreement is now public, as GGYC requested. Some of the terms of the agreement have been altered but there is still a long way to go before the 33rd America’s Cup can be considered a legitimate competition for both defender and challenger.
SNG is clearly bound by the Deed of Gift to sail under ISAF rules because they are the rules of the defending club. To achieve a competitive and legitimate 33rd America’s Cup, we need to ensure, among other concerns, that:
* SNG can only amend its normal racing rules with the mutual consent of GGYC, per the Deed of Gift;
* SNG does not have a veto power over the appointment of the jury;
* The normal ISAF redress procedures are in effect, with the jury freely able to interpret or amend the rules as it sees fit;
* SNG is not permitted to obtain confidential interpretations from the officials that are not also available to GGYC; and
* The text of the agreement itself is formally and officially revised, not purported to be amended via press releases and side letters.
GGYC will continue to work to ensure a set of rules that are fair to both competing teams. We appreciate the strong showing of support from the international sailing community and media for our court motion to compel public disclosure of the agreement between SNG and ISAF, which had been executed in secret.
We remain excited about racing for the 33rd America’s Cup in February 2010 provided that we are treated like any other competitor in any other regatta in the world – able to compete under ISAF’s rules and regulations.
RAK Crown Prince Gives Inside Story on Winning America’s Cup Venue
A wide-ranging interview by the Khaleej Times with the Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah reveals many details about the choice of RAK as the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup and insights as to what this means to the emirate and to the UAE.
First some description and then excerpts from the interview.
Benefits of the America’s Cup
Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, was quite specific about one thing.
That the America’s Cup will benefit not just Ras Al Khaimah but all of the UAE and the entire Arab World. Swiss-based Alinghi named RAK, as everyone calls the northern emirate, as hosts for the defence of the world’s oldest trophy. The three-race event against American yacht Oracle will be held off the coast of Al Hamra Village in Ras Al Khaimah from February 8, 2010.
Window on the World
Speaking fluidly and with precision at his Majlis that overlooks almost all of his city, Shaikh Saud was free, frank and forthright in a wide-ranging interview with Khaleej Times recently. The America’s Cup will be a window from which we can see the world and the world can see us, he said. “It’s a huge event for the whole country. It’s like a big party.”
Magic of Technology
America’s Cup is yachting’s most prestigious prize on the water. Alinghi will be using a catamaran while American challenger Oracle will be using a trimaran. Both boats are supposed to sail over three times the wind speed. The magic of technology kicks in here. How can a boat sail three times faster than the same wind it uses to propel? They are able to sail faster than the wind because these carbon fibre boats with huge sails create their own wind.
Excerpts from the interview with Shaikh Saud by Aruna Urs and Cherian Thomas.
Statement from the Société Nautique de Genève, 33rd America’s Cup Defender
Fred Meyer, Vice-Commodore of the SNG, comments on the Golden Gate Yacht Club’s latest litigation
“It’s a shame that BMW Oracle and Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) persist with their campaign to win the America’s Cup through litigation rather than on the water. This is the sixth time that they’ve taken the Defender to court. It is possible that Larry Ellison continues to revert to the courts to draw attention away from the fact that their boat does not meet the dimensions as per their Certificate of Challenge.
“Golden Gate Yacht Club’s speculations over the conduct of the Match before the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions have even been written and published are simply premature and self-serving. They are designed to denigrate the reputation and achievements of the Swiss Defender, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), as well as the America’s Cup itself. BMW Oracle is once again dragging the America’s Cup through the courts on baseless grounds.
“The rules of the America’s Cup Match are as the donors of the Deed of Gift wrote over 130 years ago, when other American yacht clubs were the Defender. They are not as the Golden Gate Yacht Club or BMW Oracle would now, as a Challenger, like them to be, to suit their purposes.
The simple facts are:
1. In absence of mutual agreement between the Defender and the Challenger, the America’s Cup is ruled by the default terms of the Deed of Gift.
2. In accordance with the Deed of Gift, and as with all past America’s Cups, the defending yacht club is the organiser of the Match.
3. The Deed of Gift states that the challenging vessel should not exceed certain measurements. GGYC presented their Certificate of Challenge specifying a 90x90ft yacht. Today they must honour their own volunteered and freely submitted decision and their competing yacht must match those dimensions, as required by the Deed of Gift and ordered by Justice Kornreich. SNG does not wish to see GGYC disqualified; they have enough time to modify their boat so that it measures.
4. The rules of the Match will be the Deed of Gift, and the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing written and promulgated by the International Sailing Federation and used by yacht clubs all over the world, including GGYC and SNG.
5. The rules of the Match will be set out in a Notice of Race to be published on 6 November 2009 and in the Sailing Instructions to be published on 8 January 2010. These dates are considerably earlier than when an American Defender – whose Chief Operating Officer was Tom Ehman – provided the same documents to the then Challenger in 1988 when the Cup was last competed for under the strict terms of the Deed of Gift.
6. SNG has voluntarily provided GGYC with advance details of the rules and procedures affecting the construction and measurement of the competing yachts and continues to answer questions from and provide information to GGYC about these matters to allow them to prepare their yacht “USA”.
7. All Umpires and members of the International Jury will be solely selected by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). Like all regattas and sporting competitions they, like the competitors, will be bound by the rules of the competition.
8. The Supreme Court of the State of New York has reviewed the agreement between SNG and ISAF, which follows past agreements approved by GGYC and found that: “[the agreement] is not inconsistent with anything in the Deed or the applicable rules. There is also nothing untoward about the agreement itself.”
GOING TO COURT FOR THE SPORT
(September 2, 2009) – Secrecy in the realm in the America’s Cup is as old as
the hills. Kind of like poker players showing their cards. It’s just not done.
But unlike poker, where the rules of the game are known prior to sitting down
at the table, the 33rd Match is being done a little differently.
The Defender and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) have agreed to
terms on what the rules are to be for the next Cup, but they have decided to
keep this a secret. Now, no one can begrudge the Defender from leveraging
every angle they have to gain an advantage. But why would ISAF, the
international governing body of the sport, join in? For what has been an
increasingly bitter and litigated event, this would seem to be a precarious
position for the sport’s highest authority.
Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Perhaps this is all innocent enough,
and if everyone has acted properly, there should be no objection to public
disclosure to clear the air. Therefore, a motion was made today in the New
York Supreme Court – on behalf of sailors everywhere – requesting public
disclosure of this agreement.
Led by Attorney Cory E. Friedman, who has closely followed this dispute, and
has thus far written 43 reports for Scuttlebutt with a view of explaining the
litigation and legal system to lay sailors, has taken the initiative, and is
asking for the Court to reveal the terms of this agreement. Here is his
Alinghi announces Hublot as a sponsor. Left: Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi team president and right: Jean-Claude Biver, Hublot CEO
(Photo credit: Guido Trombetta/Alinghi)
Alinghi, Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup, is proud to announce Hublot, the Swiss luxury watchmaker, as a team sponsor for the 33rd America’s Cup. Alinghi president Ernesto Bertarelli and Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver held a joint presentation at the Alinghi base in Genoa, Italy, this afternoon to announce this union of Swiss expertise. The two brands share many common values, be it their constant pursuit of precision and excellence, or their approach to technology – developing it to a maximum for greater performance.
The race begins now for RAK
by Kate Laven
The Al Hamra village area , as seen from Al Hamra Marina in RAK, will be the site the America’s Cup race village. Stephen Lock / The National
There are 178 days precisely until the first gun is fired to mark the start of the 33rd America’s Cup in Ras al Khaimah, but the race is now on to create a venue that can sit proudly in the Cup’s rich but rocky heritage.
It came as a surprise to the sailing community when RAK was chosen as the venue for the February 2010 regatta. Most expected the best-of-three head-to-head contest between two vast and fast multihulls Alinghi and BMW Oracle to take place in the Spanish port of Valencia where Alinghi triumphed in a multi-challenger event in 2007.
The UAE, though mentioned in dispatches, had no connection with yacht racing and none of the features associated traditionally with America’s Cup venues such as lively, but steady breezes, big expanses of marinas and boatyards and endless rows of glitzy waterfront hotels.
But as a result of personal ties with members of the Alinghi team headed up by Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, RAK became one of three venue “possibles” with Oman and Abu Dhabi also in contention, all of them driven by a desire to host big sporting events and increase tourist traffic.
Each was presented with a list of Alinghi’s requirements with the weather and sailing conditions dominating not just the early agenda, but all subsequent conversations. Of secondary importance were the levels of support by the regional governments and the marina facilities including hard standing, cranes and access plus hospitality provision, to accommodate sponsors, VIPs and media.
Photos Carlo Borlenghi / Alinghi©
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