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America's Cup - Off the Record - 15 April- Postman's Knock

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.Com on 16 Apr 2009
Postman Pat always got the mail through on time! . .
Much of what we have written since the Appeal Court Decision of 2 April has come from various sources, international and local, close to the America's Cup action, who won't be quoted but are reasonably happy to talk off the record, on a 'not to be attributed' basis.

The situation, as we hear it today, runs something like this:

Let's Meet:Early yesterday afternoon, Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG), maybe eager to gain the PR high ground, began calling the media, starting with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, advising that they had sent a letter, in response to the previously unannounced letter sent, a week earlier on 7 April, by the new Challenger of Record, Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC).

Pity was that the response hadn't been received by GGYC, and in fact did not arrive until a couple of hours after they began receiving media calls about it.

Three hours later the letter turned up, and GGYC duly obliged by releasing their original letter of 7 April, which can be seen here www.ggyc.com/2009April07 GGYC to SNG.pdf

The GGYC note had a few interesting points, being the offer to include ISAF or New York YC as mediators, and to propose a multi challenger event.

'We remain committed to a conventional, multi-challenger regatta in monohulls under mutual consent to be held as soon as practicable, and we would be happy to involve third parties, such as ISAF or NYYC, as mediators. '

SNG had in turn written a letter to their members, picked up by ValenciaSailing.com and which can be read by http://valenciasailing.blogspot.com/search/label/33rd%20America%27s%20Cup!clicking_here

The upshot of this flurry of correspondence is that a meeting is now expected to be held in Geneva around the time of the next RC44 regatta in Italy (22-26 April), all the key players from BMW Oracle Racing will be at this event. It is hard to see them making a special trip beforehand.

(PS: We have since had it confirmed by Alinghi that Ernesto Bertarelli first made contact with Larry Ellison on 2 April, and that the GGYC/BOR representatives have been invited to Geneva next week to 'seek mutual consent on terms for the 33rd America's Cup'. At the moment Alinghi are awaiting a reply to hear if this time is convenient. From other sources we hear that the time of 1030hrs on 23rd April at SNG in Geneva has been suggested by SNG. )
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Going over old Ground: The second point of intrigue came from BYM News with the publication of a story claiming that 'it is time to look back a bit and reflect on the 1887 Deed of Gift and to what extent it was the work of George Schuyler.'

http://www.bymnews.com/americas-cup-33/deed-of-gift.php!Click_here to read the full story.

The key point of interest was the claim in the final three paragraphs:

'There is nothing plain or natural in the phrase 'Any yacht club having for its annual regatta an ocean water course on the sea, or on an arm of the sea, or one which combines both, shall …..' unless you take it to mean that the yacht club must have an ocean water course on the sea, on which to hold an annual regatta. There is nothing in the phrase to indicate that the club needs to hold, or have held, or even be intending to hold an annual regatta, only that it must have an ocean water course on which to do so.

'George Schuyler made this absolutely clear when – in 1889 - he was asked why that phrase was in the 1887 Deed. He replied 'The courses of some foreign yacht clubs are such that we would not be able to sail on them; we would not be obliged to under the new Deed.'

'So, there you have it from Schuyler himself, it was the ocean course that the committee of the New York Yacht Club considered important when it wrote that phrase into the Deed of Gift it had drawn up. On that basis, CNEV, which - for its annual regatta - had the very ocean course that AC32 was sailed on, was eminently qualified to be CoR when it made its challenge.'

Authoritative sources contacted by Sail-World said the argument raised above had in fact been put before the Supreme Court early in the litigation and discounted in favour of the view that 'having' meant a past action, was not a geographic description of the challenging club.

Quite why it was re-raised at this juncture is interesting, and not really explained. The other point of interest is the fact that it is claimed the article was based on research of stories from the New York Times online archives which date back to the 1800's.

An example of one of these stories can be seen by http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9402EFDC133AE033A25755C2A9609C94689FD7CF!clicking_here – and there are many more.

The final paragraph of this story in the New York Times certainly pulls no punches, and makes the current reportage of the America's Cup squabbles look rather tame in comparison.
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Hiring help: We can't get to the bottom of who is, or isn't, employing boatbuilders. A source spoken to by Sail-World, who should have been in a position to know, had heard nothing. Other sources claimed variously that both camps were in hiring mode.
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In Bruno's wake: The trail that is worth following is that of Bruno Trouble, believed to be in Valencia tomorrow, and not just for old times sake.

We understand that plans for the Louis Vuitton Series, or similar, are a lot more advanced than most believe, and that venues and dates are being progressively put in place.

Of course, if as the smart money has it, that a Deed of Gift Match is the inevitable outcome of the discussions in the third week of April - then the door will be wide open for the Louis Vuitton Series for the other teams who would have been participants in a multi challenger 33rd America's Cup.

Of course, if all the parties and efforts could come together as one, then that would be a truly superlative event - the likes of which we could all only dream.


More to come ....
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