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America's Cup - San Francisco Court dismisses case against Int Jury

by Richard Gladwell, on 30 Oct 2016
Matt Mitchell (USA) sailing team Oracle Team USA Lloyd Images/J.P.Morgan BAR
A judge in the US District Court in San Francisco has dismissed the final case before the Court relating to the 2013 Americas Cup.

Matthew Mitchell (NZ) a member of the crew on board Oracle Team USA, was one of five crew named by the International Jury as being involved in boat meddling on the team's one design AC45 in four regattas in the America's Cup World Series in the years preceding the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco.

According to the decision published on Friday, Mitchell lodged his claim too late - two years after the Jury decision, and Justice Vince Chhabria, United States District Judge, dismissed the claim.

'Under every conceivable approach, Mitchell's petition to vacate – filed two years after the award against him – is barred. This is incurable on amendment, and the petition is therefore dismissed with prejudice.'

The case had been bought against the International Jury and the then International Sailing Federation. Earlier, in late September 2016, Mitchell had applied to the Court for the dismissal of World Sailing as a respondent in the claim - his request was granted by the Court.

The Case was one of two bought in the Court by Mitchell - the other being against Oracle Team USA for wrongful dismissal, which earlier was not upheld by the Court. Another sailor, also from New Zealand took action in the same Court claiming OTUSA had broken an employment contract after the venue of the 35th America's Cup to Bermuda was determined, and agreement could not be reached on salary and expenses in Bermuda, as opposed to a Cup based in San Francisco. As part of that claim an AC45 yacht owned by the team was seized before it could be shipped to Bermuda.

A Yachting New Zealand panel investigating Matthew Mitchell's treatment by the International Jury recommended that no further action be taken against Mitchell, who was suspended for four races of the 34th America's Cup by the International Jury.

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