Saturday, July 12, 2008

Press report: Larry Ellison wants to change Deed of Gift and race America's Cup on a lake

Related PDF files
Larry Ellison, L'Arena, 11 July 2008

While we are busy with the exciting races of the GP42 fleet in Valencia, one year after the end of the 32nd America's Cup, another press article related to the oldest sports competition surprised us, to say the least.

According to the Italian newspaper L'Arena, Larry Ellison, owner of the America's Cup challenger BMW Oracle, stated that if his team won the 33rd edition of the event against Alinghi, he would try to change the "formula" of the competition so that after a series of preliminary regattas the "finals" were raced on the Lake Garda in northern Italy.

Ellison, together with Russell Coutts, James Spithill and other members of BMW Oracle are taking part in a regatta held in the city of Malcesine, on the banks of the Lake Garda. According to the same article, Ellison and Coutts were so impressed by the site's wind conditions that the American software billionaire would try to change the rules of the event in order to allow it to be raced on a lake, something forbidden by the current rules.

For anyone even remotely related to the America's Cup, such declarations are indeed surprising, especially considering the fact they come from the man that used Alinghi's non compliance with these very rules to bring the Swiss team to justice. How credible is this article?

Did the reporter correctly interpret Ellison's words? I have no doubt that both Ellison and Coutts now have a very good understanding of how tedious and time-consuming such a judicial procedure could be. Change the Deed of Gift in order to race the America's Cup on a lake? Why?

Maybe what Ellison could have mentioned was the possibility of holding some preliminary regatta or Act on the Italian lake. Racing the America's Cup match there might be prohibited by the Deed of Gift but arranging a protocol where such preliminary lake regattas are contemplated could be much easier.

There might be some logistics problems holding such races on a European lake but the idea doesn't sound absurd.

Here below you can see the front page of the Italian newspaper L'Arena, dated 11 July 2008. The article appears on the bottom of the page and it can be read in the corresponding PDF file at the top of this article.

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At 3:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry obviously wasn't comfortable having so much public opinion in his favour, so he has decided to redress the balance by pissing a few people off. Great Idea LArry, lets get rid of those pesky "arm of the sea" and "open ocean course, free of headlands" clauses from the deed, it will make things a lot simpler.

To be serious, I can't believe that this is anything other than a misunderstanding by the journalist. Garda would be great location for a warm up event for the cup, but the AC on lake Garda? Definitely not.

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Lost in Translation just isn't the name of a movie is it? And a buddy of mine (Stingray) just pointed this out to me on another site, the AC can be raced on a Lake or in a bathtub if its mutually consented too. AC 2000 and 2003 were raced on the Hauraki Gulf and that lovely body of water is not free from headlands is it? This is much a do about nothing.


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