The Cup Part 5

Dec 13, 2009 16 Comments by

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33rd Americas Cup

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6: The Heat is On

Greetings yachties

The Cup is about to enter a new level of awareness. The yachts and the Wing will spread the word far beyond our sailing shores, far beyond any level of any sport. Viewer numbers in February will be unbelievable. The Americas Cup Event in 2010 will be bigger than anything we have ever seen before.

Enjoy.

With just a fortnight to go to the Match, race training is key; it seems though that the weather gods have other plans for the Defender over the next few days in Valencia. Alinghi.com checked in with Jon Bilger from the weather team for a forecast of what is to come.

“We’re expecting very strong north-easterlies tomorrow and potentially for the next three maybe four days so it’s unlikely that we are going to be able to get any sailing in. It’s unfortunate but expected at this time of the year… it’s an interesting place to have an America’s Cup in February!”

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Russell Coutts talks to international press here

Microsoft Word - Statement Jan 22 2008 Final.doc

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America’s Cup Defender submits ‘constructed in country’ opposition papers and a counter motion

Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), the 33rd America’s Cup defending yacht club, today presented its opposition arguments to the New York Supreme Court in response to Golden Gate Yacht Club’s (GGYC) ninth lawsuit; a misguided interpretation of the ‘constructed in country’ (CIC) requirement of the Deed of Gift, the event’s governing document. SNG’s comprehensive set of papers reaffirms its interpretation that only the ‘yacht or vessel’ has to be constructed in the country of the club holding the Cup, and that sails do not.

SNG’s affirmations are supported by historical precedent, as reflected in the expert declaration of John Rousmaniere, a leading America’s Cup historian, ‘the donors of the original Deed of Gift never contemplated limits on foreign sails or foreign sail technology. Those donors, in fact, hoisted British sails in first winning the Cup with the schooner America. In fact, in adding the CIC clause to the Deed in 1882, George Schuyler, the last surviving donor, sought to ensure that the Cup remained a genuinely competitive event, while preserving the Cup’s international character. He thus struck that balance by limiting the CIC requirement only to a competing vessel’s hull, but not its sails.’

Additional documents presented to the court confirm that GGYC’s CIC claim is factually wrong: SNG’s sails were constructed in Switzerland and this fact is supported by an affidavit from Tom Whidden, president of North Sails, and an official certificate of Swiss origin from the Swiss Chamber of Commerce.

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GGYC seeks redress over NOR and SIs for AC33

Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) has issued a revised NOR and SIs for the 33rd America’s Cup, but the Challenger Golden Gate Yacht Club has accused SNG of bias in both documents.
Credit: Gilles Martin-Raget

BMW ORACLE Racing, first trials off Valencia for USA
Tom Ehman, spokesperson for the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) issued the following statement:

The America’s Cup defender, Société Nautique de Genève, issued today a revised Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions for the 33rd America’s Cup Match set to begin on 8 February in the waters off Valencia, Spain.

Both documents are riddled with errors, and continue SNG’s practice of interpreting rules, or creating new ones, solely to favor Alinghi and harm the chances of the Challenger.

The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions are heavily biased in favor of the Defender and its yacht despite input from GGYC and ISAF, the sport’s world governing body, during last week’s meeting in Singapore and a meeting in late December in Sydney.

Therefore, today GGYC has made an application for redress to the International Jury, asking that the Jury be convened as soon as possible to negate or revise the biased provisions before the Match.

Specifically, SNG has:

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more pictures of DoGzilla’s first sail here

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why are we here?

More debate, more noise, more memos, more letters, more slanging matches, more briefs, more complaints, more court filings, more wasted energy, more money, more waste.

Both Larry Ellison (USA), chief of BMWOracle, and Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI), chief of Alinghi, are billionaires who should know better – so should their yacht clubs – but as you know, and I know, there is pathology at work here.

Depending on who you are, Ernesto is totally obsessive – and worse, he is European, you know, born to decide and to rule. On the other hand, he just wants to sail his boat and win America’s Cup 33.

Depending on who you are, Larry and his cohorts have consistently said the same thing and made the same demands – notably, fair, objective rules for AC33, and a level playing field for all. On the other hand, all he wants to do is win this event in the New York courts.

You have your view.

The fact is, everything has gone far, far beyond that.

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SNG issues 33rd America’s Cup Sailing Instructions and amended Notice of Race

Société Nautique de Genève has issued the Sailing Instructions and the amended 33rd America’s Cup Notice of Race.

Scheduled dates of racing
Monday 8th February 2010 First Race
Wednesday 10th February2010 Second Race
Friday 12th February 2010 Third race (if required)

Reserve Days

14th February 2010 to the
25th February 2010

The courses to be sailed will be as follows:

(a) The first race: twenty (20) nautical miles to windward and return;
(b) The second race: an equilateral triangular race of thirty nine (39)
nautical miles, the first side of which shall be a beat to windward;
and
(c) The third race: (if required) twenty (20) nautical miles to windward
and return.

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Valencia Sailing

Russell Coutts talks to Valencia Sailing

The 33rd America’s Cup match is right around the corner and Valencia Sailing had the opportunity to briefly catch up with Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW Oracle. Here is what the legendary kiwi sailor told us.

Valencia Sailing: We have a mere 3 weeks left until the starting gun is fired for the 1st race of the 33rd AC. Do you feel confident?
Russell Coutts: We are ready to race on February 8th. We remain committed to trying to get any rules questions resolved prior to the start of racing so that the winner on the water is the undisputed winner of the America’s Cup.

Valencia Sailing: You launched BOR 90 on Saturday but you stepped a conventional mast and not the hard wing. What is the reason?
Russell Coutts: We are using the conventional rig for our structural load testing prior to the commencement of sailing.

Valencia Sailing: When do you expect to sail her for the first time in Valencia?
Russell Coutts: We plan to sail Tuesday.

Valencia Sailing: Have you made a decision on the crew that will race the Cup?
Russell Coutts: James Spithill is the Skipper and helmsman. Come race day, he will put the best crew on board for the job.

Valencia Sailing: As far as tactics are concerned do you think James Spithill’s exceptional match racing skills will make a difference in prestart or is it going to be a long drag race?
Russell Coutts: Jimmy has done an amazing job with this boat. Unlike traditional Cup programs, we haven’t had two-boat testing so it will be really interesting once we line-up against the competition. I have no doubt Jimmy’s match racing skills will come into play. There is incredible anticipation for that first race. That’s part of the excitement. Neither team knows what’s going to happen. But I think this race will be more about boatspeed than match racing skill. The fastest boat will almost certainly win.

Valencia Sailing: What do you make of Alinghi 5, now that you have seen her sailing 2 days in Valencia? In the following days, when you also train with BOR90 will you try to get close to her and potentially try to assess any differences in performance?
Russell Coutts: Alinghi has some great people on both the design and sailing teams. From what we know, it seems they are well suited to light air conditions. We will assess what we can but our focus is on getting our own boat and team race-ready and to put our best package on the start line on the 8th of February.

Valencia Sailing: Tom Ehman, in the press conference in Zurich, stated that one of your team’s proposals was to postpone the regatta for a month or so and hold it in March. Why?
Russell Coutts: Alinghi has taken a big risk in building its sails in the USA and GGYC has flagged up the issue of CIC for over a year. Constructed in country (CIC) is the DNA of the America’s Cup. It is fundamental to the Deed of Gift – ‘competition between foreign countries’. We have no wish to DSQ Alinghi. If they need more time to build legal sails, we would offer it. It would also make for a better AC33, moving it from a direct clash with the Winter Olympics.

Valencia Sailing: Do you have any explanation to why Alinghi left the negotiation table in Singapore, despite the fact your team had signed an agreement drafted by them?
Russell Coutts: Their representatives telephoned back to Alinghi. They were not given permission to sign the Singapore Agreement.

Valencia Sailing: Ernesto Bertarelli said on Friday that “if Russell Coutts wants to win the America’s Cup in the NY Courts all he has to do is call me and I’ll send it to him”. Have you called him?

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Société Nautique de Genève has replied to the challenger’s letter regarding the recent meeting in Singapore: “None of us were in Singapore and we both have to rely on the reports we received from our teams. Your accusation against a highly respected sailor is without grounds and very unfair. GGYC’s representatives clearly bear the substantial responsibility of the negotiations’ failure. While Alinghi representatives were acting in good faith in Singapore, GGYC lawyers filed a factually and legally baseless motion with the New York Supreme Court on a topic (Constructed in Country) that was a subject of those negotiations…”

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Alinghi 5 sails in Valencia.

Photo credit: Luca Butto’/ Alinghi

“We are ready for the Match!” declared Bertarelli to the media present. “The team is here, I am here and we are prepared for the America’s Cup Match on the 8 February,” he said. “All the pieces are in place for the event to begin, we have an agreement with the City of Valencia to run the shore based side of the 33rd America’s Cup, and we are just waiting for the blessing of the central government in Madrid.”

As the vast sails were lifted on to the catamaran with a crane, the latest lawsuit – BMW Oracle’s ninth – was discussed; Ernesto Bertarelli was firm on the subject: “Our sails are rooted in Swiss technology and they have been constructed in Villeneuve, Switzerland. This Swiss technology has been used by both defenders and challengers in the America’s Cup since 1995 and we have been through years of development in Switzerland to construct them. Should the American justice system outlaw their use, it would be like asking Roger Federer to defend his title without using his tennis racket. BMW Oracle would win the America’s Cup in court as, without our sails, we cannot race.”

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Valencia Sailing

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Alinghi 5 sails for the first time in Valencia, venue of the 33rd America’s Cup. Valencia, 15 January 2010.

Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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Valencia Sailing

January 15, 2010

Dear Commodore Firmenich

The 33rd America’s Cup

I am formally asking your yacht club to retract immediately the comments made by representatives of your America’s Cup defender Alinghi.

My yacht club, BMW ORACLE Racing and our partners are owed an unreserved apology for the falsehoods set out by Brad Butterworth about the attempts to negotiate a mutual agreement in Singapore.

Our side did not withdraw the offer to settle. The opposite was true.

The final document was signed by Tom Ehman and Richard Slater on behalf of GGYC /BMW ORACLE Racing. The other signature belongs to David Kellett of the International Sailing Federation, acting as witness.

Not withstanding the false statements made by Alinghi to the press, GGYC remains committed to resuming talks so that all the outstanding issues are cleared up before racing starts for the 33rd Match starts.

As Trustee of the America’s Cup I am sure your club understands its responsibilities in this regard ;

Yours sincerely,

GOLDEN GATE YACHT CLUB

Marcus Young
Commodore

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Valencia Sailing

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Alinghi 5 sails for the first time in Valencia, venue of the 33rd America’s Cup. Valencia, 15 January 2010.

Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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Valencia Sailing

January 15, 2010

Dear Commodore Firmenich

The 33rd America’s Cup

I am formally asking your yacht club to retract immediately the comments made by representatives of your America’s Cup defender Alinghi.

My yacht club, BMW ORACLE Racing and our partners are owed an unreserved apology for the falsehoods set out by Brad Butterworth about the attempts to negotiate a mutual agreement in Singapore.

Our side did not withdraw the offer to settle. The opposite was true.

The final document was signed by Tom Ehman and Richard Slater on behalf of GGYC /BMW ORACLE Racing. The other signature belongs to David Kellett of the International Sailing Federation, acting as witness.

Not withstanding the false statements made by Alinghi to the press, GGYC remains committed to resuming talks so that all the outstanding issues are cleared up before racing starts for the 33rd Match starts.

As Trustee of the America’s Cup I am sure your club understands its responsibilities in this regard ;

Yours sincerely,

GOLDEN GATE YACHT CLUB

Marcus Young
Commodore

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On his return to Valencia, Brad Butterworth, Alinghi team skipper and representative at the recent Singapore meetings with BMW Oracle, comments on what happened: “We had a meeting with BMW Oracle representatives from 09:00 SGT on Tuesday 12 January until 20:00 that night and agreed to reconvene the next morning to continue as there were a lot of issues that we had agreed on but a few that were holding us apart. We agreed before the ISAF representative, David Kellett, and the ISAF AC Jury chairman, David Tillett, to have a media blackout and to do nothing that would jeopardise the discussions until we had had sufficient time the following day to talk these remaining issues through. As it happened, we all ended up having dinner together and continued the discussions, which concluded that night with a gentleman’s agreement.

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Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Alinghi 5 just arrived in Valencia?

Update, 7pm Valencia tine: It is indeed the cargo ship carrying Alinghi’s catamaran that arrived today (Sunday) at noon (Valencia time) in Valencia. The ship is now waiting outside the commercial port and will enter on Monday but it will not unload before Tuesday.

On the other hand, OceanLady, the cargo carrying BOR90, is now off the coast of Andalucia in southern Spain and is expected to arrive in Valencia on Monday morning at around 6am.

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Valencia webcam

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Americas Cup TV here

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