Thursday, May 21, 2009

Russell Coutts and Tom Ehman press conference

Related PDF files- Letter from Société Nautique de Genève to GGYC, 21 May 2009

- Letter from GGYC to Société Nautique de Genève, 20 May 2009

BMW Oracle, the America's Cup Challenger of Record, organized a press conference this afternoon in their Valencia base. Russell Coutts and Tom Ehman were in charge of informing the Valencian journalists about the latest developments on the Americas' Cup situation.

There wasn't anything entirely new the two men announced, except probably the official statement by Coutts that BOR90, the huge trimaran, is not the yacht that will race Alinghi. Instead, it will be USA (a yacht still under construction) that will face the Swiss yacht in a one-on-one race next February. The American team reinstated their desire to see the 33rd AC be held in Valencia and reconfirmed their intention to hold the next edition here as well, if of course they beat Alinghi.

We left the BMW Oracle with the feeling that the legal shenanigans are far from over in the America's Cup.

If you are really interested, you can also listen to the entire press conference through our audio player. Be patient as the conference took much longer than scheduled due to the simultaneous Spanish translation.

Venue of the 33rd America's Cup
BMW Oracle has written Alinghi that Valencia is a perfect location to hold the 33rd America's Cup. According to BMW Oracle, the options Alinghi has for a suitable venue for the 33rd America's Cup match in February 2010 are either Valencia or a location in the southern hemisphere that complies with the Deed of Gift.

Related audioRussell Coutts and Tom Ehman talk to the press in Valencia
The current stance of BMW Oracle in terms of the venue, either Valencia or southern hemisphere, seems to be in contradiction with earlier statements by both Coutts and Ehman last year. During the presentation of the sponsorship renewal with BMW in Munich last July, Ehman had stated that "in this case, the judge has said the Defender may choose ANY venue in the world, in either hemisphere, irrespective of the dates". On the other hand, in today's press conference both Coutts and Ehman went to lengths to make it clear that the last court orders have made it clear that whatever venue Alinghi chooses it has to be compliant with the Deed of Gift, granting only one exception, Valencia. As a result, an America's Cup match in February can only take place in the southern hemisphere, or exceptionally, in Valencia.

As to Valencia being suitable for a race in February, for Coutts there shouldn't be any doubt to that. According to him, the weather in Valencia is very similar to Auckland in that period of the year where one day it is summer and the next winter. After all, according to Coutts, this is the sport's premium event and as a result sailors should be able to race under all kind of conditions.

According to Tom Ehman, Alinghi "now apparently doesn't want Valencia" and "has another idea of venue in the northern hemisphere". This seems to be in accordance with the letter SNG sent the GGYC (see box at the top of the article), where they clearly state they are negotiating for a "suitable venue" for the 33rd America's Cup. Still, Ernesto Bertarelli, owner of Alinghi, has repeatedly stated the 33rd America's Cup would be held in Valencia, whether it's a conventional event or a one-on-one race in giant multihulls.

Venue of the 34th America's Cup
Regardless of the venue of the 33rd America's Cup match, if BMW Oracle is victorious they will hold the 34th edition of the event in Valencia, as soon as practically possible. This decision is unrelated to what Alinghi plans for the 34th edition. For Russell Coutts, it is in "most people's best interest" to hold it in 2011 but if the rest of challengers agree, it could be moved to 2012. According to Coutts, the goal of having the larger number of competitive teams prevails over any patriotic sentiments. Holding the 34th America's Cup in Valencia is the only way to achieve it.

According to both Ehman and Coutts, this intention isn't contradictory with a statement they had made last December, when they expressed their grievance with Valencia's stance in the legal case. Valencia might have filed an amicus brief in favor of Alinghi but significant steps have been made since then to reconcile any differences. This, obviously, was music to the ears of incredulous local journalists who insisted on asking how it would be possible for an American team to win the Cup and not bring it back to San Fransisco. Well the team might be American but the main sponsor is German and in the America’s Cup, the money has actually driven out the nationalism.

Tom Ehman (left) and Russell Coutts at the BMW Oracle base. Valencia, 21 May 2009. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

USA, BMW Oracle's challenging yacht
USA, the challenging yacht BMW Oracle will race in the 33rd America's Cup match "is being constructed" in the USA and will be launched at a later stage this summer. Construction started in March and the Customs House Registry will be provided as soon as possible.

As it was expected, both Coutts and Ehman eschewed most questions related to the details of the challenging yacht. Throughout the press conference, a TV monitor, placed next to Coutts was constantly showing impressive high-definition footage from BMW Oracle's BOR90 sailing in San Diego, at times with closeups of Coutts or Spithill onboard the huge trimaran. With Coutts always referring to USA in the future tense, inquiring minds wanted to know what we were watching on the screen. Coutts' answer couldn't be any clearer: That's BOR90 you are watching, not USA, our challenge boat.

Italian multihull challenge
BMW Oracle cannot accept the challenge presented by the Italian team Green Comm because it isn't "practical" to have a multi-challenger multihull event in February 2010. For Russell Coutts, this is nothing more than another "delaying tactic" by Alinghi. As to whether Green Comm could be funded by Ernesto Bertarelli, Tom Ehman noted that SIMtone, the first sponsor the Italian announced on Wednesday, was based in Vevey, Switzerland.

ISAF Mediation
BMW Oracle sent a letter yesterday proposing that the mediator be ISAF. It's the best option given the fact the 33rd America's Cup match will be held under ISAF rules and with an ISAF jury. The American team is hopeful this mediation would solve all problems and avoid any further litigation.

Louis Vuitton Regattas
BMW Oracle together with Louis Vuitton are in discussions with different cities in order to organize a number of Louis Vuitton regattas, similar to the one held in Auckland last February. They are in conversations with the city of Valencia in order to hold the first event some time next fall, most probably in October, although there hasn't been any agreement yet. A "couple more" regattas in other venues could be held in 2010.

According to Stephen Barclay, COO of BMW Oracle, teams like these event because they are cheap. They will last approximately 3 weeks each with a cost similar to a TP52 event but substantially more exposure. More importantly, according to Tom Ehman, it would cost Valencia "much less" than what Alinghi was asking for their similar regattas.

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At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Usual bla bla of two of the most bad faith people in the world.

After saying the racing in Feb could take place in any hemisphere they imply limiting the North to Valencia. Not fair. Alinghi can choose.

The LV ragattas are a pure hi jacking of the America's Cup, surfing on the wave of legal, legal, legal, initiated by BOR.

The Auckland regatta has surely been great for the participant, but it was nothing. No coverage, one of the poorest website ever, and a questionable sporting value.

Ehman says it will cost less to Valencia. You bet! It cannot cost much to have nothing!

ANd once again it is forgotten that a fair share of the money generated by Valencia went to teams. BOR was not good enough to make substantial revenues, but ETNZ made EUR 9M or so. Not bad!

So Coutts and Ehman, please, do the AC community a favour. Quit the place! Go home wherever home is!

At 7:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have they won the cup already....

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The majority of the sailing world wishes they would have won it already... any team... but Alighi.

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pierre, Stephen Barclay is the proper spelling of BOR COO. A kiwi, old pal of coutts just if you had any doubt.

At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Yankee Doodle said...

Absolutely disgraceful. All of them should be made to sit in a public sqaure and justify to the sailing fans of the world why they can't just get on with it. I'm certainly not going to buy a BMW ever again. That should be a threat, but you get the feeling they don't care about anyone except themselves. Shame. boo. Hiss. I second the notion - GO HOME!

At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again two guys just believe that can throw anthing in, and we willt ake it for granted. Please guys just do us a favor, as said earlier, just quit the AC and go play wherever you wanna! A real shame for America's Cup

At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

Organising another LVPS series ? This is clever forward thinking because they will need jobs to go to once they've been DSQ by the court over their certificate.

At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ehman and Coutts are two of the most fair and forward-thinking people in the sport. The LV regatta in Auckland was a breath of fresh air, and a huge success. Let's have more!

At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SNG/EB/Alinghi apologist -

What can one say about SNG/EB/Alinghi apologist in the world of AC PR but you guys got hammered today.

Will SNG/EB/Alinghi accepted ISAF as a mediator? Based on their past of turning ISAF down it's doubtful

Btw the LV regattas aren't hijacking of the AC as the AC CSS is not controlled by the Defender unless you are SNG/EB/Alinghi trying to hijack The Cup w/ a sham yacht club called CNEV.

W/ all the goings on & the likeyhood of SNG/EB/Alinghi going to court for the 6th time, the best thing is getting SNG/EB/Alinghi kicked out of the AC for the good for the sport.

At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fxxx Up Anonymous 7:52

At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ehman and Coutss are getting close to George W. Bush`s spinning skills. "They will organize another LV Cup"? Thats the most stupid statement of the century. The last one was organized by Team NZ under LV, and not by BOR!!!!

Both these clowns represent their BOR chicken shit team well: they lie, they deceive, they manipulate, and they spin! They do anything they can, the only thing they haven't done is WIN ON THE WATER!

Team BOR is a disgrace for US Sailing, a disgrace for the AC. Any other children yacht club from anywhere in the USA would be more deserving to represent the USA then these Yahoos from that chicken shit club GGYC.

At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who can guess the next location for 33rd America's Cup ??? Would believe it will stick to New York Court! What a SHAME!!
Pathetic USA attempt!

At 10:07 PM, Blogger M Squared said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger M Squared said...

Maybe it's impossible to be unbiased... Did any of you anti-BOR commenters read their letter or are you just going by the synopsis? See item 4 on page 2.

Is a request to involve ISAF more unreasonable than the SNG/Alinghi/EB appointed ACM?

If the LV series was such a flop, then none of the teams will return to a subsequent event. What's the harm? It's clearly not an AC type of event but benefits the teams until AC34.

What the best approach toward a rogue Defender bent on stacking the deck against losing it (if not BOR's route)?

"Disgrace"... What word best describes SNG/Alighi/EB?

At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

Thank you Tom, Russ...this must be a great justification for keeping the Royal Decree tax free breaks going for you ? You must have gotten those great guys in the Spanish tax department hanging on your every breath after today. They must love you, you're so natural with the locals - taking them for dinner tonite by any chance..

At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Don said...

Russell, you have reached a new low in your otherwise shining career today..appearing in the same photograph with that idiot next to you.

At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firts of all ANONYMOUS 9:11, F*** YOU!!!!!!

On the other hand, these clowns (BOR ONES) are lying. They do not want Valencia for the 34th, they will be back to USA...and I hope they do not win the challenge and back to their home crying again, or will they go to court if they do not win???
Come Alinghi, beat them and f*** them!!!!!

At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What this americans are doing is hillarious...

The Deed clearly states the following 3 rights of the Defender:
The right to choose the venue.
The right to chhose the rules.
The right to see the CHR to prepare his defence.

Now those americans have so manipulated the Deed to turn it upside down and they are choosing the venue, the rules and they are even reserving the option to hand the CHR after they'll see the Defender!!

Plus, they're able to travel in time: In March 2009 they've started to build a yacht to challenge in July 2008!!

And what makes them think that the efender has to have as much masts as the challenger? When Tom Ehman defended in 2008 he had twice as much hulls as the declared challenger.

Go ahead Alinghi! Build your 2 masted boat and kick them on the water!

At 11:46 PM, Anonymous JoeCool said...

After reading BOR's statement I got these conclusions:
- Looks like BOR90 is back in the boatyard 'cause she isn't 90x90
- They need to make her bigger up in order to fit the Certificate of Boat as the Court demands
- Once that's fixed she'll be renamed to 'USA' but unluckily she'll be heavier
- Therefore a light wind venue in the Northern Hemisphere (like Dubai?) would mean a 2-0 victory for Alinghi and a desperate maneuver is needed beforehand
- That's why now Valencia is the desired venue for BOR... the wind there in Feb is unstable... that means it'll be "Las Vegas" for both but at least it gives 50% chance for BOR's FAT Dogzilla (aka 'USA')

... but by far the most surreal line is this one: "you better don't come with a two-masted yacht 'cause that's unfair!"
Tom, you just lost it mate!

Why would a 2 (or more) mats be unfair?
Where did you read that in the Deed?
For God shake, Dennis Conner raced a cat vs a monohull and the Court allowed him to do it!
And what about Alinghi showing up on a tri? Would you go back to Court crying for help again?
It's pretty funny that BOR didn't care about the overall length or the mast height of Alinghi's multihull though.
Tom and RC, you guys make no sense at all lately!

Face it: your strategy is 2 years late. No surprise effect anymore. Alinghi knows your boat and you know nothing: not the venue nor their boat.
Fat Dogzilla is a waste of time and money.
Larry Ellison should take his team's control back, just like he did in Malmoe and later in Valencia in 2007 firing weirdos like Dickson.

And last but not least what about the best sailor of the world and team guru afraid of helming his own AC boat?
Chicken, chicken, chiken...

At 11:48 PM, Anonymous The Family Robinson said...

I don't care for either of them anymore. They all should be banned for having brought the sport into disrepute. Shameful behaviour on all sides. get on the water sail the boats and shut up.

At 1:23 AM, Anonymous WetHog said...

Mr. Pierre can you post your low down on the BMWO news conference in Spanish (at least) so some on here can actually read it over and understand what was said. It is obvious the majority of posts to this point haven't a clue.

As for the venue, well Cahn's order says Valencia, or any other venue that is deed compliant. Well a February match date suggests a southern hemisphere venue would be the only other option if Valencia is not used. How hard is that for some posting on here to understand?

In regards to AC34, if BMWO wins, being in Valencia is bullshit. If you win the Cup you should host in your home waters. Simple as that. Whoring the venue out to the highest bidder is bullshit. Thanks for setting that precedent Alinghi. The sooner the AC gets out of Europe the better. Europe is a dying continent. At least that is my opinion of Europe now after reading bash after bash against the USA on this, and other, forums.

Seems the only good thing coming out of Europe these days is the effort Mr. Pierre puts into this site. Keep up the good work Mr. Pierre. I hope to see some pictures of the work BMWO is doing to their base to accomodate their big Multi soon.

At 6:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Cool, Post 19. Nailed every bit on the head. Truer words have never been spoken.

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please folks leave your nasty comments to gangsters and fools, The Ac is regulated by the deed of gift, not some 21'st century blowhards. the timing of the next defense is February, the location is either Valencia or Southern Hemisphere - NZ or Capetown anyone ? The rules state that the certificate of measurement must be submitted by a certain date, not that the boat must be shown. Weather its 1,2,3, or even 4 hulls is up to the challenger, not public opinion. The rules do allow a 2 masted yacht but not 3. etc.etc. This race must be competed for under the rules that exisit other wise its not the AC.
So read the gift and study your facts before spewing your dirt all over the web. Even Barterelli and Ellison are more grown up than some of these posters.

At 11:50 PM, Blogger Peter said...

No - Alinghi cannot choose any venue in the Northern Hemisphere. Judge Cahn ordered Valencia "or any other Deed compliant venue".. The Deed (as amended for Fremantle) says May-Nov, North and Nov - Mar, South. So Alinghi does get to choose, but only within those constraints.

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1150PM - you got it. Bottom line is Cahn put it in the order as there was mutual consent to Valencia at that time of the season. That's the only NH location as there is no other mutual consent for another venue.

Failing to sail in Valencia the choice defaults to the Deed which states SH. SNG has to thank their lawyers on this one as they put it in their documents & verbally affirmed to Cahn when asked.

If you want to debate the above, please read the order the documents & the transcript. Otherwise don't waste our time.

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Don, Good point. I remember having beers with Russ one night back in 2002 and listening to what he had to say about Tom Ehman. it is quite amazing to see how friendly they appear to be now. i swear to you Russell Coutts used to think of Tom as untrust worthy, unscrupulous and deceitful. What happened???????

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Ehman fan Club said...

WetHog is the perfect example why the world loves the USA. The race should be in Cuba to keep all this farmers away from the Cup

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous uncletom said...

Since there is lots of misunderstanding about what Justice Cahn said regarding where the venue can be, I have extracted Justice Cahn's quote for all of us to read and discuss:
"Ordered that the location of the match shall be in Valencia, Spain or any location selected by SNG, provided SNG notifies GGYC in writing not less than six months in advance of the date set forth for the first challenge match race of the location it has selected for the challenge match race, and it is further ordered that GGYC and SNG may engage in a mutual consent process and make any arrangements satisfactory to both as to the dates, courses, number of trials, rules and sailing regulations and any other conditions on the challenge match race in accordance with the deed of gift."

So he starts the sentence saying where the venue can be, then he explains the way it must be communicated to the COR, then he talks about the dates, courses, trials and rules, and in my humble opinion, that is when, and not before, he declares that those must be "in accordance with the deed of gift".

Therefore, after reading it again
I honestly think that the Court very precisely let SNG take the DoG Match to "Valencia, Spain or any location selected by SNG".

Why Justice Chan wanted to separate in his sentence the venue selection from those other matters is clear to me: Cahn understood that since he was going to exceptionally let the Defender choose a venue against the winter rule in the Deed, he had to precisely specify it in his statement, and once he's set that clear he reminds the Defender that all the other matters must be in accordance to the Deed.

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is only he sees him as an ally to try to get to the jackpot. He always thought very badly of EHman,but his current hate against Alinghi is stronger. It only shows what really Russell is. Basically all the adjectives you just used.

At 3:33 PM, Anonymous WetHog said...

"WetHog is the perfect example why the world loves the USA. The race should be in Cuba to keep all this farmers away from the Cup"

Cuba would be fabulous in my opinion. Do not forget us ugly American's possess a nice chunk of beach front property at the south/east tip of Cuba. It goes by the name of GITMO. And the last time I checked, GITMO handles boats a lot bigger than something that is 90x90 so there should be room somewhere for BMWO and Alinghi to set up shop. Heck there might even be some pretty nice accomodations available by Feb. 2010 that can cater to any cultural specific tastebud that might be represented. Even Kiwi.

As for Mr. Coutts new found love for Mr. Ehman? Well I am sure Mr. Coutts has several million reasons why to change his tune. Wouldn't you? But I think Mr. Coutts swetty pits in the picture of the two provided tells the story nicely doesn't it?

At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yer look at those pits... well spotted.


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