Friday, October 05, 2007

BMW Oracle denies any agreement with Alinghi at this stage

Following our earlier story about an alleged agreement between BMW Oracle and Alinghi regarding the 33rd America's Cup, we contacted Jane Eagleson, BMW Oracle spokeswoman, asking for the American team to deny or confirm whether such an agreement existed.

According to Eagleson there is no truth to that story, adding that she "wished she could confirm there was an agreement at this stage". BMW Oracle is "working hard towards that goal" and has repeatedly offered mediation, always denied by Alinghi, according to Eagleson.

BMW Oracle has provided a list of 10 possible mediators, all of them refused by the Defender of the 33rd America's Cup, according to Eagleson. In addition, BMW Oracle "suggested they would be open to suggestions for other mediators" but Alinghi so far hasn't come back with any name. According to BMW Oracle, mediation is what the New York Supreme Court has also suggested.

Brad Butterworth, Alinghi's skipper, and Russell Coutts, BMW Oracle's CEO, not only are New Zealanders but also long-standing friends and according to Eagleson they "regularly talk". These talks are over the phone and there has never been any "official sit down around a table to discuss face to face", added Eagleson.

BMW Oracle's aim is to have a successful event in 2009 in Valencia and if Alinghi had the willingness to negotiate, the problem could be fixed "in 5 minutes", concluded Eagleson.

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