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Cahn rules in favour of BMW Oracle Racing

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ on 19 Mar 2008
BMW Oracle Racing have prevailed in the latest America’s Cup ruling. MCC McCamp

Sail-World is receiving reports, that have been confirmed, that Justice Herman Cahn has ruled in favour of BMW Oracle Racing, by denying the motions bought by Societe Nautique de Geneve.

After determining that Club Nautico Espanol de Vela was not a legitimate Challenger for the America's Cup Cahn ruled on 27 November 2007 that Golden Gate yacht Club was the legitimate challenger and the SNG, as Defender would have to accept their challenge for a 90ft x 90ft 'keel yacht'.

SNG/Alinghi hired a new legal team and challenged these ruling on the basis that GGYC was not necessarily a legitimate challenger, because one of the requirements that CNEV had not met - staging an annual regatta on the sea - had now been met. This was ruled not to be new information that had not bee previously considered by the Court, and this Motion was denied.

The secon Motion related to the claim that there was an error in the Notice of Challenge in that GGYC had named their vessel as a 'keel yacht' which SNG claimed was confusing even though it was not a required term under the Deed of Gift. This count was also dismissed on the basis that this was known to SNG/Alinghi at the time of the first hearing, and was not raised at that point. In fact one Alinghi spokesman, Hamish Ross gace evidence that the GGYC Challenger could only be a multihull. Cahn also picked up on the point that GGYC had supplied all the required data relating to their Challenger and 'there is no need for a hearing to determine the effect of the use of the word 'keel'.'

Similar arguments of a technical nature such as that relating to the meaning of 'week day' were also dismissed.

Sail-World is not certain of the dates at this stage, however it is understood that these will be negotiated between the parties.

If SNG/Alinghi wish to appeal further then the ruling is worded in such a way that they can only Appeal after the Match has been sailed.

This measure is consistent with the rule made in the Big Boat vs The Cat case where Justice Carmen Ciparick ruled that the parties would have to sail for the Cup and then argue about the fairness of the match or otherwise, after the event.

The current ruling will speed up the Cup process as the 33rd Match, when sailed, will determine a Defender and that Club will be able to get on with organising the 34th America's Cup. While an Appeal process may go on for a further couple of years this would not detract from the organisation of a new America's Cup, which would now seem to be likely for 2011.

We will have further updates on the 11 page ruling when it comes to hand.

Alinghi have indicated that they will not Appeal this latest decision from the New York Supreme Court, however in 1988 there were two further Appeals after the disputed Match had been sailed.


For the full Decision http://www.kiwispy.com/AmericasCup/CahnJ-180308.pdf!click_here

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