Russell Coutts replies to AYRE Challenge CEO, Pedro Perelló
Less than 24 hours after receiving Pedro Perelló's, AYRE Challenge CEO, open letter, Russell Coutts, BMW Oracle CEO, replies with another open letter that provides a number of important points.
According to Coutts, his team is "eager" to join the rest of Challengers and has made "genuinely constructive suggestions and concessions" towards that goal. Nothing new there and this wording, or similar, has been part of various releases or statements form the American team.
What is different this time though, is Coutts' statement they are "willing to consider entering the competition by December 15", the deadline set by Alinghi, even if they consider it "totaly arbitrary".
Not being an official challenger, BMW Oracle has never been present in the meetings between Alinghi and the rest of challengers, has no access to any of the documents that are being drafted there and as a result lacks the ability to judge up to what point the recent modifications meet their concerns.
That's exactly the point where the team from San Francisco makes its explicit demand. Coutts asks AYRE to arrange to have the Defender send BMW Oracle the "current drafts of the protocol, event regulations and competition regulations" by next Monday, 8 December. That will give BMW Oracle one week to study and review the documents, comparing them to their 10-point Plan, in order to determine their "course of action".
If these documents are not provided or if BMW Oracle judges the modifications made insufficient, they will any effort to resolve the dispute and wait for the NY State Court of Appeals to decide. Coutts expects they will prevail in their lawsuit, with the final decision made public "early next year".
Aware of the "stakes involved in preserving the integrity" of the America's Cup, BMW Oracle will not seek a one-on-one race against Alinghi but will work towards a conventional multi-challenger event with "fair rules" in 2010.
The ball is now on AYRE's, and most importantly, Alinghi's court.