Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Société Nautique de Genève asks Appellate Division for clarity on America’s Cup Match

[Source: Alinghi] (New York, 13 May 2008) Justice Cahn of the New York Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the required 10-month preparation period stipulated by the Deed of Gift for the America’s Cup holder to ready its defence for the Match begins from the service of the order he issued dated 12 May 2008. Despite this positive development, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), the defending yacht club, is obliged to seek further clarity from the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court.

Justice Cahn’s 10-month ruling puts the Deed of Gift Match in March 2009. But, because the Deed of Gift prohibits racing in the Northern Hemisphere from 1 November until 30 April and expressly grants the Defender the right to nominate the venue, SNG has asked the Appellate Division to establish that the first possible race date is May 2009.

Lucien Masmejan, lead counsel for the SNG, explains: “The order issued by Justice Cahn on 12 May 2008 contains some positives for Alinghi, but the language is ambiguous as it fails to recognise that a Match cannot happen in the Northern Hemisphere in March as per the Deed of Gift. The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) specifically conditioned its challenge on a Northern Hemisphere match and SNG has always contemplated a Northern Hemisphere match either in Valencia or another location."

“Conscious that time is of essence, and to clarify this inconsistency SNG has been successful in consolidating its appeal on the date issue with its previously filed appeal contesting the validity of GGYC as Challenger of Record. All issues will be heard by the Appellate Division on 5 June 2008.

“Meanwhile, the Alinghi sailing team is training intensively and the designers and shore crew continue to prepare for the 33rd America’s Cup. SNG will defend the Cup on the water and we look forward to returning to our true area of expertise: competitive racing.”

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