The Société Nautique de Genève, the Defender of the America's Cup, has announced Valencia, Spain as the venue for the 33rd America's Cup Match to be held in February 2010.
Valencia was the host city for the 32nd America's Cup and was originally proposed as venue for the 33rd Cup. However a lengthy series of court battle, has seen the proposed venue changed first to Ras Al Khaimah in UAE, then the East Coast of Australia and now back again to Valencia.
The full release from Alinghi, the team representing the Société Nautique de Genève, is below, followed by the response from the Challenger of Record, the Golden Gate Yacht Club.
In a letter written today to New York Supreme Court Justice Kornreich following the unsuccessful discussions with the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the America's Cup Defender, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), has confirmed that it will conduct a Deed of Gift Match with GGYC in February 2010 in Valencia, which is the date and venue repeatedly requested by GGYC and previously ordered by the Court. SNG has also expressed its intention to publish the 33rd America's Cup Notice of Race with immediate effect.
When SNG's first choice of venue, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, was declared invalid by the New York Supreme Court, the Swiss Defender proposed two alternative Southern Hemisphere venues: Proserpine and Airlie Beach and Townsville in Australia, where the weather conditions are suitable in February.
GGYC's reaction has been to try to delay the Cup and to continue to try and gain competitive advantage while SNG attended the meetings in good faith with the objective of finding a settlement.
While SNG confirms Valencia as the venue for the 33rd America's Cup in February 2010, the offer to GGYC of an Australian venue for the same date remains on the table until 13 November 2009 provided GGYC agrees to withdraw all legal actions.
Alinghi skipper, Brad Butterworth, who participated in the discussions in New York, expressed his disappointment at the outcome: "We went into the talks in good faith, ready to make concessions in order to guarantee the return of the Cup to the water for a February duel between two state of the art multihulls, but sadly once again BMW Oracle were in power grab mode. This time their priority was to delay the race because they are not ready. Originally they pushed for February when it was to their advantage; now they have to live with their choice of date. I think I speak for the community when I say we want the Cup sorted out as soon as possible on the water."
Extract from SNG's letter to Justice Kornreich sent 10 November:
"At this point, after proposing various venues to GGYC, SNG believes that the 33rd America's Cup must be decided in February 2010 on the water rather than in the Courts of New York State. In issuing its NOR for races in Valencia for February 2010, SNG complies with (a) this Court's Order, 'reinstated' by the Court of Appeals' April 2, 2009 decision, that the parties race in February 2010, and authorizing Valencia as a permissible venue for the 33rd Cup, and (b) Your Honor's direction that 'SNG hold the race as per the order of the Court of Appeals and Justice Cahn in February.'"
Please click here for the 33rd America's Cup Notice of Race
Statement from Tom Ehman, Golden Gate Yacht Club Spokesperson
We're very pleased to see that Société Nautique de Geneve/Alinghi have finally agreed with us that Valencia in February is the correct venue to hold the 33rd America's Cup. Presumably SNG will now drop their appeal of the Court's decision that Ras Al Khaimah is an illegal venue.
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