Saturday, March 08, 2008

Alinghi's view on some of Team NZ claims

[Source: Alinghi] Following the press release issued on Thursday by Emirates Team New Zealand regarding the filing of two law suits, one with the New York Supreme Court and one with the United States District Court, Alinghi has prepared the following insights into the issues raised.

“…Alinghi wants to crush competition…”
Dalton appears to have a selective memory. Facts show that Alinghi and ACM have supported other teams over the course of the 32nd America’s Cup, especially ETNZ:

1. In 2004, Ernesto Bertarelli allowed ETNZ to launch their challenge by granting them a multi million euro loan. Without this cash injection, it is likely that ETNZ would not be in the form they are today and able to complain about the so-called Alinghi lack of sporting spirit.
2. When ETNZ’s boat was damaged in the Marseille Act in September 2004, ACM helped them financially to fly a second boat from New Zealand so that they could race in the following Act in Valencia in October 2004, which resulted in them winning the 2004 season.
3. ACM worked with ETNZ to secure the sponsorship of Estrella Damm.
4. The model developed by ACM for the 32AC made possible a profitable event that ended for the first time ever with millions of euro’s being distributed to all teams, including 9 million euro’s for ETNZ.

The facts prove that crushing competition has never been one of Alinghi’s objectives.

“…we would rather be racing…”
If ETNZ wanted to go racing, why spend a fortune on a legal case instead of investing the funds in the team to improve its performance on the water? What is the real intention of whoever is funding the lawsuit, who wishes to remain anonymous - other than to hurt the Defender and therefore the competition?

“…SNG has committed breaches of its fiduciary duties…”
Justice Cahn stated clearly on November 27, 2007 that Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) did not breach any of its fiduciary duties.

“…a series of actions by Alinghi have made it more likely that boats will not be in the water again until 2011…”
This is incorrect. The delay is purely a consequence of the disruption caused by the GGYC law suit filed with the New York Supreme Court.
Being in Court leads to an uncertain timeline, which does not fit with the need for certainty with the racing calendar, forcing ACM to postpone the event. There was no reason for ACM to postpone other than the lawsuit. The reported lack of funding is a false argument as the Event Fee received from the Authorities of the Host City would have been a perfect base to organise a financially viable event.

“…Alinghi had the opportunity to accept a reasonable proposal from BOR…”
Alinghi could not consider as reasonable and minor the final changes proposed by BMW Oracle Racing (BOR) in relation to the racing schedule and the two boats training. Their request heavily contradicted the model of cost containment that Ernesto Bertarelli/Alinghi were proposing and that had been agreed by all the entered teams, including ETNZ.
Additionally, the competition format proposed by BOR would have left the Defender without two boat testing and without real competition before the Match, so in a very weak position.
During the process BOR constantly changed the goal posts and added new requests to their demands hence the refusal to negotiate further.

“…Alinghi wanted to impose one-sided rules…”
From September to November 2007, ETNZ took an active part in all eight of the consultation meetings and signed off all the rules and regulations which came out of the consultation.

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