Justice Herman KAHN of the New York Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) in the case they brought against the Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) for accepting an invalid challenger for the 33rd America's Cup.
The New York Supreme Court ruled that the Club Nautico Espanol de Vela (CNEV) was an invalid Challenger of Record and that the Golden Gate Yacht Club, home of the BMW ORACLE Racing team, were the Challenger of Record.
Justice Herman KAHN concluded that the challenge from the CNEV did not comply with the Deed of Gift, the document that governs the America's Cup, as it did not meet the eligibility requirements that entitle a yacht club to be designated as a Challenger of Record. Specifically that it did not meet the requirement in the Deed for 'having for its annual regatta'. The conclusion of the ruling reads (click here to read the full text
"The court concludes that the CNEV's challenge is invalid, and that the GGYC is Challenger of Record pursuant to the Deed. GGYC's breach of fiduciary duty claim against SNG is dismissed."
Response from both the GGYC and SNG to the ruling was swift.
"We are very pleased by the decision as it enables everyone to focus on getting the Cup back on track quickly,"
said Russell COUTTS
(NZL), CEO of the GGYC's BMW ORACLE Racing
team. "We will immediately endeavour to meet with the other challengers to mutually agree a fair set of rules negotiated with all the other teams,"
Ernesto BERTARELLI, President of the Defender Alinghi
, said, "We are disappointed that a technicality made the CNEV invalid and we are now looking forward to discussions with the Golden Gate Yacht Club to keep the America's Cup functioning."
The statement released by Alinghi also says, "There will now be a thorough review of the Judge's decision and an analysis of the various options offered by the Deed of Gift."
COUTTS went on to say the GGYC wants to see a conventional America's Cup regatta in Valencia and is planning to speak with Alinghi, Defender of the America's Cup from the SNG, as soon as possible to organize a meeting seeking a mutual consent challenge.
GGYC's first preferences would be to:
1. Seek to agree rules with all competitors along the lines of the October 17
"nine points" compromise proposal and race a conventional America's Cup competition in Valencia in 2009.
2. If a Deed of Gift challenge went ahead, the club would seek to race under the AC90 monohull rule already published. If Alinghi did not agree to that, in multihulls.
3. In all scenarios, GGYC would seek by mutual consent to have a Challenger Selection Series with as many challengers as possible.