The court hearing to settle the dispute over the date of the 33rd America's Cup Match has been set for Wednesday 2 April.
The New York Supreme Court has confirmed it will host a hearing on the dates for the best-of-three race Match to decide the 33rd America's Cup on Wednesday 2 April.
The hearing comes as a result over a dispute surrounding the 10-month notice period the challenger must give the defender before the Match can take place. The Defender Alinghi, of the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), claim this period did not begin until the Court Ruling of Justice Cahn on 19 March (confirming the Golden Gate Yacht Club as challenger and rejecting Alinghi's appeal to the contrary) and therefore no match should be held before May 2009 (the defender, who can chose the venue of the Match, has confirmed it will be in the Northern Hemisphere and therefore it must take place between 1 May-1 November). The challenger, the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) submitted their challenge in July 2007, say the 10-month notice period began from this date and wants a Match in October 2008.
Lucien MASMEJAN, legal counsel for the Defender Alinghi, said he was pleased the hearing had been scheduled so swiftly.
"We are pleased that Justice Cahn has granted our request to quickly schedule a hearing to discuss the dates of the 33rd America's Cup. As expressed in our letter to him, we believe that the date must honour the 10-month notice period stipulated in the Deed of Gift and take into account the GGYC's prior agreement that this notice period would be tolled pending Court proceedings, as it was in the Mercury Bay litigation in 1988. We look forward to voicing our concerns before Justice Cahn,"
Tom EHMAN, spokesman for the GGYC, was also looking forward to having the date issue resolved quickly.
"From the very beginning this whole process has been about stopping the defender from imposing a wholly one-sided set of rules on the Cup that was strongly opposed by the great majority of challengers,"
"From the outset the defender has denied the real issues at stake, rejected reasonable compromises supported by the majority of teams and sought further delay at every turn.
"The court has confirmed our challenge as valid and we are very pleased the court is now giving prompt attention to fixing a date for the race, which the defender is again seeking to delay.
"We believe that the right date for the match, under the rules set out in the Deed of Gift, is October 2008. As other challengers have also said, the sooner we get on and race this match the sooner we can all get back to a conventional America's Cup regatta that includes all teams,"