"Société Nautique de Genève and Alinghi welcome Justice Shirley KORNREICH's decision and confirm that it will be adhered to. The Defender of the 33rd America's Cup also welcomes the clarity that it brings. We now know that the America's Cup Match can take place in the Northern Hemisphere regardless of the date, which Justice KORNREICH said can be agreed through mediation. In the event of no agreement being reached, Alinghi, representing the SNG, will race BMW Oracle, representing the Golden Gate Yacht Club, in February 2010. In another important decision, Justice KORNREICH ordered the GGYC to stick to the specifications of their Notice of Challenge and instructed the Challenger of Record to provide the Custom-House Registry as soon as possible."
GGYC spokesman, Tom EHMAN, said,"Today's hearing should end any further delay to the 33rd America's Cup and we can now look forward to some exciting racing in state-of-the-art boats early next year." A statement issued by the GGYC went on to say:
'On April 7, 2009, the New York State Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that GGYC is the rightful Challenger of Record and that the next match would be in ten months - early February 2010.
'However, in an April 23 letter to GGYC, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) sought to unilaterally dictate that the match date be delayed to May 2010 in defiance of the Court, which triggered a motion to hold SNG in contempt of court.'
The argument over the date issue had centred around an ambiguity in the Deed of Gift, the document which governs the America's Cup, which states that the challenger can set the date provided a 10-month notice period (i.e. February 2010), but the Defender can decided the venue and if it's in the Northern Hemisphere racing can only take place between May and November (so the earliest possible date would be May 2010).
Whilst the challenger and dates have now been decided and the Deed of Gift outlines the basic criteria for a match between two parties who cannot reach mutual consent, more court hearings could follow when it gets down to deciding the details. Even coming out of today's court hearing reports indicate another argument brewing over the venue, with Alinghi asserting they could chose any location, but BMW ORACLE insisting on either Valencia, as already proposed, or a Southern Hemisphere venue following the date/hemisphere stipulation in the Deed.