Société Nautique de Genève Press Release
The America’s Cup and the Louis Vuitton Cup posing at the Forbidden City, Beijing
America’s Cup pieces return
In September 2006 the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) learned that it did not receive the entirety of the original America’s Cup from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron when Alinghi won the trophy in 2003.
In 1997, while the America’s Cup was in New Zealand, it was badly vandalized at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) and sent to Garrard, the original creator of the trophy, in London, for extensive repairs. SNG has been advised by Garrard that replaced pieces of the original America’s Cup were unlawfully removed from the silversmith. RNZYS was unaware of the existence of any such pieces left over at the time and these parts of the Cup have subsequently been acquired by third parties. One was purchased by the Spirit of Adventure Trust in New Zealand, and the other by a private individual also in Auckland, New Zealand.
The America’s Cup is not owned by the holder, but held in trust under New York law since 1857 for the benefit of all competitors. The holder is subject to the normal fiduciary legal obligations imposed on trustees, including a duty to protect and preserve the America’s Cup. Société Nautique de Genève has a legal obligation as trustee to take any legal proceedings necessary to protect and preserve the America’s Cup.
Société Nautique de Genève with the support of former trustees, the New York Yacht Club and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, has and continues to take all necessary action to recover the pieces.
After Société Nautique de Genève provided proof of the removal of the pieces, the Spirit of Adventure Trust surrendered the piece it held.
Société Nautique de Genève is currently pursuing the individual that holds the second piece. He has been advised that legal proceedings will be commenced against him for return of the property, unless the piece is returned by 4.00pm Friday 3rd November 2007 (New Zealand time).
Société Nautique de Genève sincerely hopes that the remaining piece will be returned to the rightful owner, with the co-operation of all involved, and that legal proceedings can be avoided.
In a release earlier in the week, the Spirit of Adventure Trust announced that they had 'decided to reunite the damaged section of the America's Cup with the 'Auld Mug'.
The Trust said that they had bought the piece in good faith and had bought a warranty of ownership.
Given that the Spirit of Adventure Trust had given the undertaking to return the piece it held, the announcement by SNG may seem a little strange, however Sail-World understands that there is more than one piece of the damaged Cup in circulation and this is the object of SNG's ultimatum.