Oracle attacks RAK
Under the America’s Cup Deed of Gift, for a match in February the Defender, Société Nautique de Geneve (Alinghi’s yacht club) cannot select a Northern Hemisphere location without GGYC’s mutual consent.
The only exception is Valencia, which the court’s April 7, 2009 decision expressly
GGYC has consistently reminded SNG that, without our mutual consent, any other venue they select would have to be fully compliant with the Deed of Gift.
In good faith, however, BMW Oracle Racing sent a team to inspect SNG’s proposed
venue, and, although the team was met warmly by the local authorities, it was clear that
the RAK venue fails on every key measure necessary for a successful America’s Cup,
including: lack of infrastructure, security and wind.
Moreover, in light of the developing situation in the Arabian Gulf region, Ras al-Khaimah
is particularly unsuitable. SNG’s proposed course area is within 17 miles of islands
occupied by Iran in a current territorial dispute with the United Arab Emirates – of which
Ras al-Khaima is a member state.
“The choice of RAK underscores SNG’s abject failure in its responsibilities as Trustee of
the America’s Cup,” said Russell Coutts, skipper and CEO of GGYC’s BMW Oracle
Racing team. “It seems that the Defender is prepared to go to any lengths to make this
America’s Cup a travesty.”