The start of the 33rd America's Cup Match will continue as scheduled on 8 February with the New York Courts not holding a hearing on the legality of Alinghi's sails until after the Match is finished.
On Friday, Justice Kornreich of the New York Supreme Court informed the America's Cup defending yacht club, Société Nautique de Genève (whose team is Alinghi), and the challenging Golden Gate Yacht Club (BMW ORACLE Racing) via telephone conference that she will not hear the American challenger's complaint regarding the 'constructed in country' requirement of the Deed of Gift before the 33rd America's Cup Match, scheduled to begin on 8 February.
The latest legal wrangling between the America's Cup Defender and Challengers revolves around the sails Alinghi will use for the Match. BMW ORACLE claim these are made in the USA and therefore do not comply with the 'constructed in country' requirement of the Deed of Gift ("a yacht or vessel propelled by sails only and constructed in the country to which the Challenging Club belongs, against any one yacht or vessel constructed in the country of the Club holding the Cup"). Alinghi counter this claim by with several arguments, including the sails are not covered by the 'constructed in country' requirement, that their sails are constructed in Switzerland anyway and if indeed the broader BMW ORACLE interpretation of the constructed in country requirement was validated by the Court, that would make BMW ORACLE's boat illegal.
This means the 33rd America's Cup is free to proceed as ordered by previous New York rulings: a best-of-three match in Valencia on the 8, 10 and, if necessary, 12 February.
"This is excellent news. We are delighted that BMW Oracle's attempts to disqualify Alinghi and to win the America's Cup in court have been denied. We look forward to meeting them on the start line here in Valencia on 8 February to race for the Cup; something they can no longer try to avoid," said Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi President.
Tom Ehman, spokesman for the Golden Gate Yacht Club, released the following statement: "The New York Supreme Court said today that, due to its busy schedule, the hearing on the "constructed-in-country" issue could not be expedited. Therefore, it appears unlikely that a hearing will take place before the America's Cup match begins on 8 February.
"It is unfortunate that the legality of Alinghi's American-made sails probably will not be decided before the Match. However, it will be decided eventually."
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