Valencian local and regional authorities rescind contract for 2009 pre-regattas
It was without any doubt a very short-lived contract. A mere 10 days ago, America's Cup Management (ACM), Valencia's city and the regional government signed a contract worth 9 million euros for the celebration of America's Cup related pre-regattas next July. According to all parties, the July regattas were to go ahead regardless of the final decision the NY Court of Appeals might take in the legal fight opposing Alinghi and BMW Oracle.
A little more than 24 hours later, the NY Court of Appeals ruled in favor of BMW Oracle and put the contract into test. Shortly after the court ruling, Rita Barberá, mayor of Valencia, revealed the existence of clause 4.5 in the contract that gave the two Valencian public organizations the right to rescind the aforementioned contract if the American court ruled against Alinghi before the 9th April. Nevertheless, neither she nor the regional government made public their intentions.
Well, as it was reported yesterday in the Spanish media, neither one had many doubts about what decision they were about to make. In fact, last Monday, 6th of April, Barberá decided to use the clause 4.5 and informed ACM of her decision by sending a brief fax. As per the reports, the fax mentioned that both Valencian authorities took the decision to jointly rescind the contract.
The contractual payment of 9 million euros (plus 16% taxes) was to be split 60/40 between the region and the city and it was due by the 1st of June. Of course, neither party has any financial obligation now towards ACM and as Barberá stated the only cost bore by the city was for "the contract photocopies and the pen for its signature".
Once again, the question is what the future holds for the world's oldest sports competition. Since the day of the court ruling it is solely up to BMW Oracle and Alinghi to decide. They can either reach an agreement in order to hold a conventional multi-challenger competition in the near future or fail to settle, in which case they will have to face each other aboard their monster multihull yacht, next February. We hope, in either case, it's in Valencia but of course who are we to have any say?