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Back to court for America's Cup Defender

by Daphne Morgan Barnicoat - Alinghi on 27 Mar 2008
In a bid to accelerate the process of returning the 33rd America’s Cup to the water and having been stonewalled by the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) has decided to request Justice Cahn determine the dates for the event, as contemplated in his Order of 19 March 2008.

This decision comes following an unsuccessful meeting on Wednesday between representatives from the SNG and the GGYC. Having exhausted every available effort for a settlement and reached a deadlock in discussions with GGYC, on Wednesday evening (New York time), SNG filed a letter with the New York Supreme Court requesting a hearing to determine the date for the 33rd America's Cup Match that honours the 10-month notice period stipulated in the Deed of Gift and takes into account the GGYC's prior agreement that this notice period would be tolled pending Court proceedings.

'Larry Ellison wants the America’s Cup, but he doesn’t seem to be prepared to win it through a competitive regatta on the water,' declared Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi president. 'Through his actions he has successfully eliminated 12 entered teams, destroyed plans for a 2009 multi-challenge event in Valencia and through the legal system has guaranteed himself a place in the America’s Cup Match, something he has never before achieved on the water. Now Larry Ellison seeks to win the America’s Cup through its legal strategy rather than racing Alinghi on the water. GGYC continues to mislead SNG: it had agreed to suspend the 10-month notice period for the duration of the legal proceedings, however now wants to force us to race in a timeframe that won’t allow SNG to prepare its defence or an event that will satisfy Cup enthusiasts.'

The nature of the request to Justice Cahn for a 2009 Match is detailed in the letter sent to Justice Cahn (see attachment). Subject to when and how Justice Cahn resolves SNG's request, it is hoped that further Court proceedings will be unnecessary. SNG has reserved all of its rights as the holder of the America's Cup and as a litigant in the New York courts.

'SNG has repeatedly stated that it wants the competition back on the water and out of the courts; however the GGYC’s consistent rejection of a competitive and sporting match in 2009 has given the Defender no alternative but to return to Justice Cahn,' said Lucien Masmejan, lead counsel for the SNG.

Letter to Justice Cahn http://www.alinghi.com/multimedia/docs/2008/03/260308_letter_to_justice_cahn.pdf
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