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13 May 2008, 09:47 am
33rd America's Cup Set For 2009
Alinghi training in Valencia
The latest court ruling in the America's Cup went in favour of the Defender Alinghi

33rd America's Cup

The 33rd America's Cup Match will take place in 2009 after the latest ruling from the New York Supreme Court went in favour of the defending club, the Société Nautique de Genève.
Justice Herman CAHN ruled the mandatory ten-month notice period that the Challenger, the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), must give the Defender according to the Deed of Gift (the document which governs the America's Cup) did not begin until his Court Order made yesterday on 12 May.

In his decision, Justice CAHN explained, ?GGYC commenced the litigation, and the subsequent opposition to GGYC's claim as the Challenger of Record prolonged the uncertainty. Thus it would be inequitable to deprive SNG of the benefit of a full ten-month period in which to prepare its racing vessel.?

The Court Order went on to specify that the first of the best-of-three match shall be the date ten calendar months from the date of the order (12 May) unless otherwise mutually agreed by the Defender, the SNG (whose team is Alinghi) and the Challenger, the GGYC (whose team is BMW ORACLE Racing). The next match shall be two business days after and if necessary, the third shall be in another two business days. Justice CAHN also ordered that the Defender give at least six months notice of the location for the matches. Alinghi has previously stated Valencia, Spain will be the venue. The Deed of Gift states a match in the Northern Hemisphere can only take place between 1 May-1 November.

Lucien MASMEJAN, lead counsel for the SNG, commented, ?We are pleased that Justice Cahn has issued this order and recognized within his decision that it was the actions of the GGYC that brought the America's Cup to court and that depriving SNG of the ten-month notice period mandated by the Deed of Gift would be inequitable.?

?This 10-month notice period should commence when there is a final decision regarding the propriety of the GGYC challenge and fully taking into account the Northern Hemisphere window as indicated in the Deed of Gift. This means that the Match cannot take place before May 2009," added MASMEJAN.

The GGYC's response came from club spokesman Tom EHMAN, who commented, ?We are pleased that the Court has advanced the process and required the Defender to confirm the venue. We will now be considering the order to determine our next steps.?

Despite the decision in favour of the Defender, MASMEJAN, also indicated that this was not going to be the end of the legal battle between the two clubs. ?Several issues still remain unresolved. Among these, the GGYC certificate is critical, as it is unclear and contradictory. Since GGYC refuses to provide us with the information required in the Deed of Gift, we are forced to continue with the legal procedures that GGYC started by bringing the America's Cup to court,? he said.

So, the current state of the play is that the contest for the 33rd America's Cup is set to be a best-of-three battle between giant multihulls, held in Valencia in 2009.

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