Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What about CNEV's annual regatta?

Given the fact the case in the NY Supreme Court focuses on one and only point, whether the CNEV (Club Nautico Español de Vela) is a valid challenger, it goes without saying that any information related to the CNEV is of primordial importance.

It has been widely reported, among others by Bob Fisher in Sail-World (undoubtedly one of the most respected and knowledgeable America's Cup journalists), that Alinghi's lawyer David Hille, when asked by Judge Cahn about CNEV's annual regatta, stated it would be held in November.

That statement comes as a total surprise because if it is true, then the Challenger of Record will be having its third attempt to have an annual regatta as requested by the Deed of Gift. As a result, we contacted Manuel Chirivella, president of the CNEV, asking him to clarify the challenging club's position in that matter. We received a statement, mentioning that "The Deed of Gift states that the challenging club must organize at least one annual regatta. Well, the CNEV has organized an Optimist regatta in Santander, the Vuelta a España a Vela (Spain Sailing Tour) last September (a regatta that visited a large part of Spain's coasts) and will organize in November a regatta in Valencia. All three events were born as annual regattas". [Note: The translation to English is ours].

So, assuming both men are telling the truth, it is remarkable there is this lack of co-ordination between the Challenger of Record and the Defender. After all, the issue of CNEV's annual regatta is by far the most important in that court case! We don't argue whether the Deed of Gift requires the regatta to have been held before the challenge, that's the core of the case and it's Judge Cahn that will decide. What strikes us is that Alinghi's lawyers were unaware of the previous two events, allegedly held by CNEV, especially considering the fact the November regatta might take place after Judge Cahn rules on the case!

There is also another aspect that really surprises us. The first event, the Optimist race held in Santander early July, was widely reported to be a simple weekend training course for children, 7 to 14 years old. In addition, according to the affidavit by Tom Ehman (page 14, paragraph 38), the CNEV later submitted to the 33rd America's Cup Arbitration Panel that the "regatta" was not intended to be the one required by the Deed of Gift.

Then in early September, the CNEV allegedly co-organized the Vuelta España a Vela (Spain Sailing Tour). The Tour had a stop in Valencia and we witnessed ourselves that it did take place, at least the boats crossed the finish line in Valencia on their own sails. Of course, that doesn't mean it was necessarily organized by the CNEV.

So, why didn't Alinghi's lawyer mention that the CNEV had already organized one in September?

Here is the original entire response from Mr Manuel Chirivella, president of the CNEV, in Spanish:

El Deed of Gift dice que el club Challenger tiene que organizar al menos una regata anual. Pues bien, el Club Náutico Español de Vela organizó una regata de Optimist en Santander, organizó la Vuelta a España a Vela el pasado mes de septiembre (regata que pasó por gran parte del litoral español) y organizará en noviembre una regata de Cruceros en Valencia. Las tres competiciones han nacido como regatas anuales. Todo ello para dar muestra de la buena fe y de la predisposición del CNEV a cumplir las normas del Deed of Gift, que recordemos que en ningún momento dice cuándo tiene que organizar el club Challenger la regata (por lo que se puede organizar después de haber sido designado Challenger).

La Real Federación Española de Vela quiere aclarar que el Club Náutico Español de Vela, que recogió el testigo del ente federativo como desafiante de la America’s Cup, trabajó y trabaja intensamente para cumplir con todos los requisitos establecidos por el Deed of Gift para ser Challenger of Record, primer desafío. Como fruto de estas efectivas gestiones en estrecho contacto con la SNG, el 3 de julio ambas entidades firmaban el Protocolo para la 33ª America’s Cup, lo que convertía al Desafío Español en Challenger of Record, un honor que por primera vez disfruta un equipo nacional y que le permite consensuar con el Defender los parámetros de la próxima edición de la regata. Éste es un hecho histórico por el que toda la afición española debería sentirse orgullosa.

El Club Náutico Español de Vela da continuidad al espíritu que ha inspirado al Desafío Español en la 32ª America’s Cup, y que tan buenos resultados ha dado, al integrar a toda la vela española en un mismo equipo y atraer así a toda la afición de este país. Los numerosos apoyos que ha recibido el equipo verde, de todos los puntos de España, demuestran la validez y la fuerza de esta apuesta.

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At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Brian said...

For non-Spanish readers, let me translate what I believe is the juicy part of Mr. Chirivella's statement: "...The CNEV to comply with the Deed of Gift, that doesn't state at any moment when has the regatta to be organized by the challenging club (that is why it can be done after being designated as a challenger)...". So, besides the fact Mr. Chirivella is already ruling on the NY court case (Justice Cahn should thank him warmly), his words specificly reflect the core issue for all this mess: their own interpretation of what the Deed of Gift says.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Guigon said...

There is an interesting post back from July (in Spanish): El blog de Jaume Soler

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Norberto said...

to a regatta to be considered annual doesn't it have to happen at least two years in a row? otherwise you have an inaugural (or "1st annual" - there's a post about this matter on the ac sailing anarchy forum) regatta but it's possible to never have the 2nd one. wtf?

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Norberto said...

for a regatta to be considered annual doesn't it have to happen at least to years in a row (at aproximately the same date)? otherwise you can have an inaugural (or "1st annual" - there's a post about this matter on the ac sailing anarchy forum)regatta and then never have a 2nd one.


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