The case centred around the validity of Club Nautico Espanol De Vela (CNEV) as a challenger under the criteria contained in the Deed of Gift, the document which governs the America's Cup. Today's court ruling reserves the previous decision of the Appelate Division and reinstates the original ruling of Justice Cahn in the Supreme Court, that the CNEV is not a valid challenger as it does not meet the criteria for having an annual regatta.
In its ruling the court noted, "for a challenging yacht club to be within the eligibility requirements, it must have held at least one qualifying annual regatta before it submits its Notice of Challenge to a Defender".
The Court concluded, "Since CNEV has failed to show that at the time it submitted its Notice of Challenge it was a '[c]lub fulfilling all the conditions required by' the Deed of Gift, it does not qualify as the Challenger of Record for the 33rd America's Cup competition and Supreme Court was correct in declaring GGYC to be the valid Challenger of Record. It has been posited that the right to act as trustee of the America's Cup should be decided on the water and not in a courtroom. We wholeheartedly agree. It falls now to SNG and GGYC to work together to maintain this noble sailing tradition as 'a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries.'"
Click here to read the full ruling.
THE SNG issued the following statement in response to the ruling: "It has consistently been our view that the America's Cup should be fought on the water. Today through the American courts the Golden Gate Yacht Club has won the right to challenge the Société Nautique de Genève. We will now discuss the terms for the regatta with them and will prepare our defence of the 33rd America's Cup."
If the GGYC and SNG are unable to agree upon a set of rules to govern the competition for the 33rd America's Cup, as currently appears likely, the racing will take place under the conditions outlined in the Deed of Gift. With the Challenge certificate submitted by GGYC, this is likely to take place in two giant multihull, over a best-of-three race series. BMW ORACLE Racing, the team of the GGYC, launched their 90ft trimaran in August last year. Alinghi, the team of the SNG and the Defenders of the America's Cup, have yet to launch their multihull, although in an interview with the International Herald Tribune back in December, team President Ernesto BERTARELLI said, "We have done enough to be ready within the time that we would have in case Larry was to win in court".