More wriggling

Alinghi council Lucien Masmejan says BMW Oracle Racing are "sticking to their destructive strategy"

Friday March 21st 2008, Author: Daphne Morgan Barnicoat, Location: United Kingdom
Following the letter sent by the GGYC representatives in response to the proposal made by the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) for a fair resolution of the 33rd America’s Cup on the water, Lucien Masmejan, lead counsel for the defending yacht club, says:

“We regret the tone and the content of the response from BMW Oracle Racing to our proposal. It looks as if they plan to stick to their destructive strategy that has been successful so far, eliminating all Challengers and qualifying in court directly to the America’s Cup Match, thus putting hundreds of people in the sailing community out of business. Now they want to use the same plan to beat the Defender without fighting a fair duel on the water. We communicated to them that to have a fair and high-quality race the event must take place in 2009. It is simply impossible for us to construct a boat to defend the Cup in a seven-month time frame as GGYC currently proposes.

"Moreover, 2009 is the right date after the 10-month notice period demanded by the Deed of Gift to allow the Defender time to prepare their defence, which resumes only after Justice Cahn's final order was entered on March 19 2008. The parties agreed months ago that the 10 month notice period would be tolled during the pendency of this litigation up through entry of a final order or judgment and expiration of the time for appeal. But as they did previously, GGYC keeps changing the frame of the discussion to try to obtain the Cup by any means and at any price. Are they afraid of meeting Alinghi on the water?

"Both SNG and GGYC have repeatedly stated in public that, should they win the 33rd America’s Cup, the 34th edition will be sailed in 2011. Thus, it makes no difference to GGYC and, more important, has no impact in the America’s Cup community whether the race is held in October 2008 or July 2009, unless GGYC does not believe that it can win if SNG is given adequate opportunity to prepare for the match.

"However, the SNG and Alinghi remain committed to trying to find a compromise with BMW Oracle Racing and therefore we proposed a meeting next week to try to find a solution that moves the America’s Cup fight back on the water and not in court.”

"A letter proposing the meeting on March 27th to further discuss the matter has been sent today to the GGYC representatives by the SNG."

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