Thursday, March 20, 2008

Russell Coutts sends letter to Brad Butterworth

PDF Documents

- Russell Coutts' letter to Brad Butterworth, dated 20 March 2008

20 March, 2008
Mr. Brad Butterworth
Vice President/Skipper
SNG/Team Alinghi
Base 11
Port America’s Cup

Via Email: [We don't reproduce the email address in order to avoid spam]

Dear Brad,

We write in response to SNG Vice Commodore Fred Meyer’s letter of yesterday (19 March 2008) to GGYC Commodore Marcus Young.

We have consistently maintained over the past many months that we would prefer to reach mutual agreement with you regarding the scheduling and conduct of the 33rd America’s Cup event, rather than resort to court intervention. As you know, we have consistently emphasized that our ultimate objective here is to get the America’s Cup back on a conventional, multiple-challenger track as soon as possible, with a fair protocol similar to the 32nd America’s Cup. The people who work in the America’s Cup sailing community deserve no less. We, along with most of the America’s Cup sailing community, sincerely regret that at every turn you opted for the delay and uncertainty attendant to the litigation process.

We are now gratified to hear that, after the New York Court’s recent decision, you are finally open to work with us promptly to resolve the remaining issues without further court action.

With respect to the date for the match, as you recognize our challenge was issued on July 11, 2007 and provided for the requisite 10-month notice period, selecting dates in July, 2008. We do not believe it is appropriate to delay the match an entire year as you propose. Nor do we think that the court will countenance such delay. Your decision to create further delay by inserting new arguments into the litigation after Justice Cahn’s 27 November, 2007 decision, which could have been raised months before, simply cannot now be used by you to justify a match date that is a full two years after our valid notice of challenge – when the Deed of Gift entitles you to only a 10-month notice period.

Accordingly, while not now waiving our right to insist on a July 2008 date, we would propose the October, 2008 dates that we proposed immediately after the New York Court decision of 27 November 2007, which declared our right to be treated as the valid Challenge of Record.

We note that your letter proposal does not set out your selection of the location or specify the sailing rules for the match, each of which we have been requesting from you for months. We look forward to resolving those issues as well.

Members of our team are prepared to meet and discuss this with your representatives as soon as possible to reach a prompt resolution that provides a mutually acceptable schedule for the 33rd America’s Cup event, and even more importantly will, in turn, provide much needed certainty to the America’s Cup sailing community for the 34th America’s Cup event.

Please get back to me as soon as possible, preferably tomorrow, to schedule a time and place for such a meeting.

Russell Coutts

cc: Vice Commodore Fred Meyer, SNG
Commodore Marcus Young, GGYC

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