Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clew Ring New Generic

Alinghi give ultimatum to Team New Zealand

by Greg Ford, Sunday Star Times on 26 Oct 2008
Grant Dalton: given ultimatum by Bertarelli? © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

Team New Zealand will be kicked out of the next America's Cup if they don't drop their legal action against holders Alinghi.

Greg Ford writes in the Sunday Star Times:

In a new and serious development between the two feuding camps, the Sunday Star-Times has been told Alinghi recently sent Team New Zealand a legal letter with that ultimatum and if the Grant Dalton-led syndicate doesn't comply by December 15 the Swiss team owned by Ernesto Bertarelli plans to write a protocol for the next cup in 2010 specifically designed to exclude the Kiwis.

This explosive development has come as a 'bolt out of the blue' for Dalton. He said both parties had been negotiating an out-of-court settlement in recent weeks.

'And we thought we were pretty close to a settlement but then this letter arrived,' he said.

'They are trying to bully and intimidate us which is not going to get anyone anywhere really.'

Team New Zealand mounted a two-pronged legal case against Alinghi earlier this year. Dalton claimed Alinghi broke a promise to hold the regatta in 2009 and sought $60 million in damages.

It also contended Alinghi's protocols, or rules, for the cup were unfair and breached trust laws.

Alinghi returned serve and said that, when Team New Zealand entered the regatta, they agreed in writing they would settle any differences by mediation rather than in court.

Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth supplied the Star-Times with the paperwork he claimed backed their case.

Alinghi have also been fighting a separate court battle with the Larry Ellison-owned Oracle syndicate, which is the main reason why the regatta has become becalmed.

Bertarelli, who won the most recent appeal in the ongoing saga, holds the whip hand in this battle and last week announced he would plough ahead with the next regatta in 2010.

Dalton said he 'applauded' the decision and is desperate to be part of the regatta. But that's now far from certain, unless Team NZ drop their case.

For the rest of this story http://www.stuff.co.nz/4739973a1823.html!click_here

Sail-World comment:

Alinghi and SNG are already on a course set for the 33rd America's Cup. Emirates Team New Zealand has already entered that event. Therefore they can't be refused entry to an event they have already entered, and been accepted.

The Defender is entitled to close entries by a certain date - now set at 15th December 2008, however this date would only affect teams who have not yet entered like BMW Oracle Racing, and others.

Once entered Team New Zealand becomes subject to subject to the conditions of the 33rd AC Protocol, which provides for an Arbitration Panel to hear disputes. That body has long been claimed to be independent by Alinghi parties.

Therefore it is a little odd that, if reported correctly, that Bertarelli can threaten to exclude a team on the basis of a yet to be held Hearing on a matter of breach of the 33rd AC Protocol. That is pre-determination of the outcome, and also calls into question the independence of the Arbitration Panel.

Secondly, if claims of amendment to the Protocol to exclude certain teams are correct, that also calls into question the oft stated position of the Alinghi parties that they are flexible and open to change in the Protocol,and that they are working co-operatively with the Challengers. If alterations to the Protocol are made, at this stage, at the behest of the Defender, that again calls into question the stance long taken by Alinghi and SNG that the Protocol is designed to advance their 'vision' for the America's Cup and improve the regatta, and not to 'jimmy the rules' so that the event is controlled in the interests of the Defender only.

It is arguable as to whether the agreement which Team New Zealand believe that Ernesto Bertarelli has breached, is actually subject to the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Panel, since it was made outside the Protocol and formal entry process. It related to an agreement to stage the 33rd America's Cup in 2009, and with penalties for delay into 2010 and 2011. That enabled Team NZ to plan ahead with some certainty.

Had Bertarelli not made that side agreement, then it is probable that Dalton would not have entered Team New Zealand in the event. The subsequent Media conference held by Bertarelli would have been a rather hollow affair indeed. Instead, Bertarelli was able to pull a major surprise and gained real credibility for his position. Later Dalton believed that Bertarelli had been inflexible and pedantic in his treatment of the issues between the Defender and Challengers, and that a small shift by Bertarelli would have been sufficent to resolve all outstanding issues, and allow the America's Cup to take place within the agreed timeframe.

The report in the Sunday Star Times, if accurate. only serves to underline the justification for BMW Oracle Racing and GGYC to have taken the action they have in the New York judicial system on the Protocol for the 33rd America's Cup.

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor
T Clewring CruisingNaiadColligo Marine 660x82

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line - Oh, and by the way we won a million dollars
Sailing history has been made by a New Zealand crew in winning the richest prize ever offered in sailing July 11, 2016 - Sailing history has been made by the New Zealand crew of Phil Robertson, Stu Dodson, Will Tiller and James Wierzbowski in winning the richest prize ever offered in sailing - $US1million (NZD $1.37m), with their nail-biting win in the World Match Racing Championships in Sweden.
Posted on 14 Jul
Rio 2016 - Yachting New Zealand defends Olympic selection practices
Yachting New Zealand has responded to wide-spread international criticism of its selection practices Yachting New Zealand has responded to wide-spread international criticism of its selection practices and criticism by the Chairman of the NZ Sports Disputes Tribunal, Sir Bruce Robertson of the way it treated two Olympic sailors after they had qualified New Zealand for the 2016 Olympic sailing regatta at the ISAF World Sailing Championships in santander in September 2014.
Posted on 9 Jun
America's Cup - Changes proposed to control future Cup options
Changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing according to the Daily Telegraph (UK) News that changes are being mooted to put the America's Cup on a longer-term footing is being floated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by the British Challenger, Land Rover BAR. According to the Telegraph, some of the teams in the 2017 America's Cup are keen to lock-in parameters which would bind successive holders of the a style and frequency for the next America's Cup Match.
Posted on 8 Jun
Gladwell's Line - Olympic Appeal over in NZ but hotting up in Oz
The 2016 New Zealand Olympic selection process came to an end on Monday night in Auckland The 2016 New Zealand Olympic selection process came to an end on Monday night in Auckland with the announcement at the end of a Mediation Hearing by the Chairman of the Sports Disputes Tribunal, Sir Bruce Robertson, that he would not overturn the two non-selection decisions by Yachting New Zealand.
Posted on 2 Jun
Rio 2016 - Murdoch confirms that he won't Appeal tight selection call
Double Olympian Andrew Murdoch has confirmed that he will not Appeal the decision of the Yachting New Zealand selectors Double Olympian Andrew Murdoch has confirmed that he will not Appeal the decision of the Yachting New Zealand selectors who gave the nod for Rio 2016 to Josh Junior, who will be on his first Olympic regatta. 'I don't think I would get a result in my favour out of the back end of it,' Murdoch told Radio Sport. ït would also hinder Josh's preparation as well.'
Posted on 12 May
Olympic board sailor lashes out as Spanish hope for Olympic windfall
2012 Olympian JP Tobin has hit out at Yachting New Zealand's selection policy for Rio 2012 Olympian JP Tobin has hit out at Yachting New Zealand's selection policy for Rio that has left the boardsailing classes vacant for August's Games, according to a story published on the stuff.co.nz website. The online news arm of Fairfax media has picked up comments from Tobin's Facebook page.
Posted on 12 May
Rio 2016 - Yachting NZ fails to nominate in three Qualified Classes
Yachting NZ have only nominated two sailors in a second tranche of 2016 Olympic selections for five qualified places. Yachting New Zealand have only nominated two sailors in a second tranche of 2016 Olympic selections for five qualified places. Two singlehanded sailors have been added to the Kiwi Olympic team in the two Mens singlehanded classes - the Finn and Laser. Appeals are being lodged today by two sailors in the Womens events.
Posted on 10 May
Will NZ's most successful Olympic Sailing event cop the Selection axe?
New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain in September 2014. In two of those the RS:X Windsurfing event, New Zealand is unlikely to be represented in the Men's event, and in the Women's event, Natalia Kosinska would appear to be a borderline selection.
Posted on 2 May
Sailing World Cup Hyeres - First leg lottery dictates RSX leaderboard
2016 Olympic aspirant Natalia Kosinska had another trying day at the Sailing World Cup Hyeres 2016 Olympic aspirant Natalia Kosinska (NZL) had another character-testing day at the Sailing World Cup Hyeres in the Women's RSX Windsurfer. However, she moved up the leader board to lie 28th overall in the 40 strong fleet and placed ninth in the first race of Day 2.
Posted on 29 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr