America's Cup: Light at the end of the tunnel or false hope?
It appears that we might be finally seeing the appearance of a few rays of hope in the long and tedious standoff between Alinghi and BMW Oracle. When the 6 judges of the NY State Court of Appeals made public their final decision on the legal case between the two parties, in addition to declaring GGYC as the Challenger for the 33rd America's Cup, they stated that "it falls now to SNG and GGYC to work together to maintain this noble sailing tradition as "a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries".
Well, it appears that the first time these two clubs and teams will "work together" might take place next week in Geneva, according to the Alinghi media office.
The Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), the yacht club that Alinghi represents, has written to the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the yacht club BMW Oracle represents, inviting their representatives to a meeting in Geneva next week to seek mutual consent on the terms of the 33rd America's Cup.
In addition, Ernesto Bertarelli is available to meet Larry Ellison whenever convenient, a fact that indicates a sincere will to settle differences from the part of the Swiss team's owner.
Still, it has to be said that GGYC and BMW Oracle made an initial approach to exactly discuss on a settlement last week. GGYC's Commodore sent his SNG counterpart a letter on April 7th, informing him BMW Oracle officials were prepared to meet "immediately" with SNG/Alinghi in order to start negotiations that could eventually lead to a settlement.
Is this the beginning of the end or just another false hope, similar to the ones we have seen in the last 20 months? We'll see next week.
Here's the letter sent by GGYC's Commodore to his SNG counterpart
April 7, 2009
Commodore Pierre-Yves Firmenich
Société Nautique de Genève
Dear Commodore Firmenich,
I am writing to confirm our sincere hope, given Thursday's court decision, that our two Clubs can reach mutual consent on the conditions governing the 33rd America's Cup.
We remain committed to a conventional, multi-challenger regatta in monohulls under mutual consent to be held as soon as practicable, and we would be happy to involve third parties, such as ISAF or NYYC, as mediators.
As you know our Club is represented by LArry Ellison and his BMW Oracle Racing team. BOR officials are prepared to meet immediately with SNG/Alinghi to discuss ideas for achieving mutual consent. We suggest a meeting early next week at a mutually convenient venue.
We also suggest that the location of the meeting be kept private between our two teams. This is an important time for trying to provide certainty in helping the event move forward quickly. It would be ideal if our teams could talk with as little distraction as possible.
I hope this is acceptable to your Club and team. Could I further suggest that Melinda Erkelens and Lucien Masmejean talk as soon as possible by phone to work out the details.
GOLDEN GATE YACHT CLUB
cc: Ernesto Bertarelli, Team Ainghi
Brad Butterworth, Team Ainghi
Russell Coutts, BMW Oracle Racing
Larry Ellison, BMW Oracle Racing