Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - RG

America's Cup Legal settlement unshackles the next Match

by Richard Gladwell on 27 Mar 2010
Golden Gate YC can now look ahead to planning the 34th Match for the America’s Cup BMW Oracle Racing © Photo Gilles Martin-Raget http://www.bmworacleracing.com

All litigation in the 33rd America's Cup has been discontinued, following an acceptance of an agreement announced between the four parties today.

The dropping of the litigation will allow the formal handover of the various properties associated with the America's Cup and which are held by the Defender, in its joint role of Trustee of the America's Cup to which the custodianship of the trophy and the organization of the next Match is enshrined in the 19th century Deed of Gift which governs the event.

After losing the trophy in over four weeks ago, Societe Nautique de Geneve and Team Alinghi apparently did not execute the necessary documents, even though the trophy itself was handed over to the new winner, Golden Gate Yacht Club and BMW Oracle Racing, immediately after the finish of the second race in what was known as a Deed of Gift Match between two multihulls, each over 110ft long

It is believed that the Swiss club would not complete the transition process while it was under threat of litigation by the new Trustee. Had SNG defended the America's Cup in Valencia, it was expected that the legal action which had dogged the event since July 2007 would have continued and effectively frozen out all other competitors until its resolution.

The Challenger, Golden Gate Yacht Club, proved to be an easy winner in that Match which had been punctuated by numerous legal actions, mostly initiated by Golden Gate Yacht Club as they sought to protect their rights as Challenger, and to prevent SNG from exceeding their rights as Defender, in the yacht design and construction, and conduct of event.

Of some 14 points of litigation raised by the Challenger only one was decided in favour of the Defender - a decision that allowed the use of engines in place of manual power on board the yachts - a decision which arguably, eventually favoured BMW Oracle Racing as it allowed the US team to better use their 70metre wingsail - widely regarded as the determining factor in the performance of the two yachts.


At the time of the America's Cup being sailed there were still three actions in front of the New York Supreme Court - two over Constructed in Country one lodged by each team, that the other's yacht was not in compliance with the CiC requirements of the Deed of Gift, and the third was a Breach of Fiduciary Duty action on the part of the Swiss holder of the America's Cup over their actions taken during the period from July 2007, which the Challenger did not believe were consistent with SNG's obligations under the Deed of Gift, which they had undertaken to uphold in an agreement which they had signed and executed with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the previous holder of the America's Cup.

The settlement reached means that all parties will drop all legal actions and will carry their own legal costs.

The keypoints in the agreement include:

1. Transfer to GGYC of the pieces of the damaged Cup that SNG recovered in 2006 from different individuals in New Zealand.

2. Transfer of ACPI (America's Cup Properties Inc) to Golden Gate Yacht Club. ACPI is the body that holds the intellectual property rights and copyright of the items knowns as the 'America's Cup Marks'. being the America's Cup silhouette, the words 'America's Cup' and other similar properties all of which had to be licensed by the defender/Trustee before they could be used under threat of legal enforcement to prevent 'passing off' etc. these properties include the America's Cup website, www.americascup.com which was still under the control of SNG/Alinghi over a month after they had lost the trophy.

3. Transfer of a new entity, to GGYC, formed by SNG/Alinghi, and the Challengers at the end of the 31st America's Cup - The Cup Heritage Trustee Limited and for the resignation of a Director, Hamish Ross, Alinghi legal adviser and noted America's Cup historian.

4. Transfer of all race management equipment that was transferred to SNG by the Challengers for the 31st America's Cup in Auckland. This gear is expected to fill at least one shipping container.

5. Dropping of all pending litigation between the parties and notification of the New York Supreme Court of this step and the release of all claims against parties arising from the 31st, 32nd and 33rd America's Cups - this is believed to remove the threat of any action against the SNG parties arising from the Breach of Fiducial Duty action bought by Golden Gate Yacht Club, and the activities cited in that action covered not just the 33rd America's Cup but also the two preceding regattas.


Not mentioned in the agreement is Report lodged by Principal Race Officer, for the 33rd Match, Harold Bennett, over the actions by some SNG appointed members of the Race Committee who refused to co-operate when Bennett decided to start the second race, against their wishes. That matter is still considered by the International Sailing Federation. Bennett would not comment on the record to Sail-World, three weeks ago, saying that he had said all that he was going to say and that as far as he was concerned the matter was 'dead and buried'.

The International Sailing Federation is not expected to take any further action against the individuals involved, none of whom were ISAF certified officials, however the opprobrium which they have brought upon themselves, and their club, will long remain, and is a greater penalty than anything that could be issued by the world body.


In a statement released by the San Francisco based, Golden Gate Yacht Club, the Commodore, Marcus Young said the Club was pleased to have reached agreement on the matter and BMW Oracle Racing CEO, Russell Coutts said the team looked forward to the 34th Match being the best ever in the history of the almost 160 year old event.

No statement has yet been announced by SNG or Team Alinghi, and it is not known whether they will participate in the next America's Cup, for which there is currently only one Challenger.

To view the signatures on the Settlement Agreement http://www.sail-world.com/pdf/100326%20Settlement%20Agreemen...pdf!click_here

Colligo Marine 660x82InSunSport - NZSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82

Related Articles

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
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
Terrific battle in Oyster Regatta Antigua finale
On the final day, two of the three Classes were so close that the winners were decided on the last race. On the final day, two of the three Classes were so close that the winners were decided on the last race. Spectacular sailing conditions prevailed with a brisk 20 knots of wind from the south east. Oyster yachts are built to sail the oceans and revelled in the conditions.
Posted on 12 Apr
34th America's Cup - Oracle pumping claims are flawed - Update
Claims that Oracle Team USA broke the manual propulsion rules in the 34th America's Cup are seriously flawed Claims by an American journalist, Bruce Knecht that Oracle Team USA broke the manual propulsion rules in the 2013 America's Cup are seriously flawed. The allegations received considerable airplay in New Zealand on Friday and over the weekend.
Posted on 6 Mar
America's Cup - Another win for Oracle Team USA in California Courts
America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA has been successful in its legal effort to swat away another complaint America's Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA has been successful in its legal effort to swat away a complaint brought by former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell. Mitchell's complaint against his former team was dismissed by a San Francisco Court on Wednesday. The amount of damage/injury claimed was stated as $400,000.
Posted on 12 Feb
America's Cup - No action against Kiwi sailor, but rule changes made
The International Sailing Federation has changed the process for Rule 69 Hearings in line with CAS recommendations One of the Oracle Team USA crew members found by the International Jury to have been involved in boat tampering activities with the America's Cup World Series regattas ahead of the 34th America's Cup has not been further penalised by the International Sailing Federation.
Posted on 19 Nov 2015
America's Cup - ISAF and Cup Jury summonsed by California Court
Five members of the AC34 Int Jury and the Int Sailing Federation have been summonsed by a San Francisco Court The International Sailing Federation, the controlling body for world sailing, and the five individuals who made up the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup have been summonsed by a San Francisco Court, to answer a lawsuit.
Posted on 9 Sep 2015
Dean Barker's Blog - Back into the racing
Five times America's Cup helmsman Dean Barker gives his view on his split with Team New Zealand and life since Writing on his blog at Kiwi Yachting Consultants' websites, of which he is a substantial shareholder and director, five times America's Cup helmsman Dean Barker gives his view on life since Team NZ. This is my first blog for quite some time. In fact since September last year when I was still a part of Team NZ racing in Istanbul for the Extreme Sailing Series.
Posted on 20 Apr 2015
America's Cup- Mitchell fires new salvo at ISAF Jury Officials
Matthew Mitchellhas advised that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members Matthew Mitchell, previously a member of Oracle Team USA, has issued a media release advising that he has filed complaints of Gross Misconduct against all five Americas Cup jury members with the sport's International governing body (ISAF). This action follows on from his recent claims about the actions of another team member Simeon Tienpont, now with Challenger Luna Rossa.
Posted on 5 Feb 2015
America's Cup- Oracle crew mate lodges ISAF complaint against Tienpont
Last Friday, former OTUSA's Matthew Mitchell issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the ISAF Last Friday, former Oracle Team USA team member, Matthew Mitchell issued a media release stating that he has lodged a complaint with the International Sailing Federation over the actions of a fellow crew member, Simeon Tienpont, and inaction by the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup, in San Francisco.
Posted on 28 Jan 2015