"Forfeiture is their best option"

Grant Dalton gives his views on the latest Alinghi v BMW Oracle state of affairs

Wednesday March 26th 2008, Author: Warren Douglas, Location: United Kingdom
Emirates Team New Zealand Managing Director Grant Dalton says that in view of Alinghi’s stated inability to race BMW Oracle in the time frame stipulated by the Deed of Gift, forfeiture seems their best option.

The Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG), in a letter to the Golden Gate Yacht Club, said it was impossible to build a boat in the seven months to October 2008, the date BMW Oracle has proposed for the Deed of Gift match.

The SNG letter proposed July 2009 for the match, which BMW Oracle has rejected.

Dalton said today: “Alinghi has had as much time to design and build a multihull as BMW Oracle. It is apparent that Alinghi was so certain of a victory in the New York Supreme Court that it had not developed a viable contingency should the judge rule in BMW Oracle’s favour.

“Having admitted that they cannot be ready by October we believe that Alinghi should forfeit right now, allowing BMW Oracle and the other challengers to get the America’s Cup back on track and minimising challengers’ continuing financial hardship that they created.

“BMW Oracle has said all along its preference is for a conventional, multi-challenge America’s Cup regatta and has consistently worked to achieve this outcome.

“We believe that given the opportunity, BMW Oracle would be only too willing to work with the America’s Cup community as a whole to restore the Cup’s standing to what it was at the conclusion of the last America’s Cup.

“Regattas could be held in Valencia this summer sailing the 2007 Cup yachts; next year the new 90ft yachts could be racing and a multi-challenge America’s Cup could be held in Valencia in 2010.

“All it would take is for Alinghi to do the right thing and help recreate a positive environment and let everyone get on with it.”

Dalton acknowledged that BMW Oracle had spent considerable resources developing and building a multihull for the Deed of Gift challenge. “They might well wish to force the issue with Alinghi and no one could condemn them for that.”

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