Extract from the Deed of Gift for the America's Cup, dated 24 October 1887:
“The Challenging Club shall give ten months' notice, in writing, naming the days for the proposed races; but no race shall be sailed in the days intervening between November 1st and May 1st if the races are to be conducted in the Northern Hemisphere...”
Now, what do you think that means? From where I am sitting, it looks very much as if “no race shall be sailed in the days intervening between November 1st and May 1st if the races are to be conducted in the Northern Hemisphere.” That seems clear enough – it is in English after all - so why did Alinghi nominate Ras al Khaimah (which is some 25° north of the equator, and therefore firmly in the Northern Hemisphere) as venue for a Deed of Gift match in February 1010?
The America's Cup is now back in court for the seventh time, with Societe Nautique de Geneve (read: Alinghi) continuing to moan that Golden Gate Yacht Club (read: BMW Oracle) keep going to court because they don't want to actually sail a Match at all.
The other way of looking at it is that SNG/Alinghi is the party that doesn't really want to race - and has deliberately come up with a venue that doesn't qualify under the Deed of Gift in the sure knowledge that GYC/Oracle will go back to court...
What else can we deduce from this? Well, presumably, that everyone on the Alinghi team is getting paid more and more every day to compensate for fact that their credibility as sportsmen has long since been reduced to tatters. It must be a lot of money by now – but how much is enough?
Guy Nowell Editor Sail-World Asia
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