Friday, October 16, 2009

GGYC sends letter on the suitability of Ras Al Khaimah as America's Cup venue

October 15, 2009

Le Comité Central
Société Nautique de Genève
Port Noir
CH-1223 Cologny
Société Nautique de Geneve

Mr. President and Members of Le Comité Central,

33rd America’s Cup Venue

I write to the Société Nautique de Geneve as Trustee/Defender of the America’s Cup on behalf of Golden Gate Yacht Club, Challenger of Record for the 33rd edition, and our representative team BMW ORACLE Racing.

As custodian of this unique and historic trophy, your Club has many responsibilities. As Trustee under the Deed of Gift, SNG also holds a duty of care, and consequent liability, to all participants in the 33rd Match.

GGYC is considering filing a complaint with the New York Courts on the grounds of breach of fiduciary duty because of your Club’s actions over the past five years. Your selection of the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup would form part of that claim.

As Trustee, SNG has the power and duty to choose the venue for the 33rd Match. Under New York law, this duty cannot be delegated. It is a clear and inescapable responsibility. This duty lies with your Club – not with Alinghi, ACM, or Mr. Bertarelli.

SNG has announced Ras Al Khaimah as your choice of venue for the 33rd Match, and I am taking this opportunity to urge you to reconsider that choice in respect of your duty and responsibility as Trustee.

As to the suitability of Ras Al Khaimah, please take the time to read the following articles that are freely available:

• Sheikh Khalid Bin Saqr al Qasimi, said this when a Ras Al Khaimah-connected terrorist cell, planning attacks on major tourist hotels in Dubai, was arrested:
"The fact that the terrorist cell was linked to Ras Al Khaimah is the latest evidence that the close ties between the current regime in Ras Al Khaimah and Iran is not in the best interests of Ras Al Khaimah or the United Arab Emirates."

• Sheikh Khalid Bin al Qasimi’s address to lawmakers in Washington was reported in the New York Post:

• Mr. al-Mansuri, connected to the RAK ruling family, was one of those arrested in connection with this terrorist cell:

• George Webb, head of the Canada Border Services Agency Counter Proliferation Section, interviewed by The National Post, stated that UN Sanctions-prohibited microchips destined for Iran were routed through Ras Al Khaimah:

'Ras al-Khaimah is actually leased by the Iranian government, staffed by Iranian customs.'

• Respected terrorism analyst Douglas Farah has noted links between Ras Al Khaimah, gemstones and the Taliban:

'One thing of significant importance (and which had not developed at the time of my reporting on diamonds and al Qaeda) is the emergence of both Dubai and Ras al-Khaimah (two of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, one of only three governments to recognize the Taliban when it was in power the first time) as leading diamond markets and gemstone centers.'

• Viktor Bout, well-documented Russian arms trafficker now under arrest, operated from Ras Al Khaimah. United Nations List of Individual/Company Frozen Assets refers:

• Contrary to these reports, Dr. Khater Massaad states, 'There are no security issues to be concerned about in the UAE. That's a fact.' However, this recent New Zealand Herald story reports 44 terrorism-related arrests:

• Dr. Massaad also claims that the proposed venue is complete and the area is free of all security concerns: 'There has never been any security concern so far in the UAE and I don't see any reason why we should have any now!'

However, Martin Tasker of TV New Zealand visited Ras Al Khaimah. His report (6 October) showed the venue as a building site.

• The obvious unsuitability of Ras Al Khaimah is causing an increasing and negative press throughout the world, which stains the good name of your club.

The foregoing is a small and representative sample.

Regrettably, terrorism and threats to public safety are, these days, a fact of life. We note in your brief filed with the court earlier this week the assertion that Ras Al Khaimah has never been connected with terrorism. On the contrary, according to the FBI one of the pilots who crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11 was born and raised in Ras Al Khaimah (

GGYC’s other objections to this venue are well known to you and we consider them of equal importance.

If Mr. Bertarelli has encouraged your Club into this irresponsible situation, now is the opportunity to salvage the reputation of your Club, the America’s Cup and the sport of sailing by leading the way out.

We confirm, as we have on many previous occasions, that GGYC remains committed to good-faith mutual consent discussions with SNG to resolve this and other disputed matters.

Yours sincerely,

Marcus Young

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At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alinghi will be also be based and race in RAK. Are they so crazy to choose a location where they would be under danger of terrorists?
This Oracle move is only fueling US fear of the Arab World as a dangerous place. I find it disturbing and unethical to use such arguments to gain some time and tactical advantage. Shame on you!

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't agree more with the previous comment. I guess, if someone had the time and inclination, it would be very easy to create a similar letter with examples for both Valencia and San Francisco (or even Geneva "Town too dangerous - son of foreign head of state falsely arrested and put before kangaroo court!")

At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

G W Bush polemics - BOR shoud change their PR team - old school!!
But let me give a good hint to BOR - as BMW will get from board in the near future - go and ask pampers for a sponsorship - for them it would be a wonderfull product show case - for you very helpful and for the spectators more aesthetic

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry i forgot to say that pampers are available in xxxxxxxl - helpful for Tom, Russel for all the bullshit they produce

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bmworing...rule 69 in revenge...ban those idiotes for life!

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really really FED UP with this America's Cup bullshit and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Forget about it. Go sailing.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Renaud said...

It's seems today that the challenger will use any rubbish provided by Google to avoid meeting Alinghi on the water ...

At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Ellison , your team is now a disgrace to America and to Americans.

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Renaud said...

The fight (at NY Court)has only one issue :

weather the 34th AC will be on multihull or not.

GGYC & BMO seem to have choosen a monohull and SNG and Alinghi a multihull for the future.

Let's go on the water and w'll see if the AC will remind in the hands of conservative or not.

I sincerly hope Alinghi will win again for the good sake of the futures AC et throw that old Deed in the Bermuda Triangle.

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:28 - you don't understand terrorism to well & the role symbols play in their targets.

Read the other legal documents and you will see that security is a secondary issue. The real issue is whether RAK is Deed legal. Remember CNEV, it wasn't Deed legal.

At 5:59 PM, Blogger Mark Mc said...

That's different. A U.S. based team is in more danger in RAK. Following is from U.S. State Department site today.
On several occasions in recent years, small groups of expatriate recreational boaters were detained by the Iranian Coast Guard for alleged violation of Iranian territorial waters while fishing near the island of Abu Musa, approximately 20 miles from Dubai. The UAE and Iran have had a long-standing dispute concerning jurisdiction of Abu Musa. Fishing or sailing in these waters may result in seizure of vessels and detention of passengers and crew in Iran. Obtaining consular assistance in Iran is difficult and can only be done through the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which acts as a Protecting Power, providing limited U.S. consular services.

At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First poster, all Americans, I'm sure, would rather not have to take security considerations into account when traveling to the Middle East. The simple fact is that we would be truly stupid not to. Or maybe you have been living under a rock for the past eight years.

Also, if these allegations by BMWO are true, it would be very likely that part of the huge infusion of money into a RAK as a result of the Cup's presence would undoubtedly find its way into the hands of a few who sponsor or condone terrorism. The odds of this happening would be almost zero if the cup were held in Europe. The idea of Alinghi using an important artifact of America's cultural history, The Cup, to infuse money into an area with known Jihadist or pro-Iranian groups should be sickening and utterly outrageous to all Americans.

I think that many, maybe all, of the people running RAK have good intentions, but the simple fact is that RAK is not ready, nor suitable, for this event. And I'm not even talking about the zero wind issue.

At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a pathetic move from GGYC. They sound so desperate... shame on you Larry, shame on you!!!!

At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More of the wonderful objectivity of the Boranigans, and the icing on the cake is the so called breach of fidiciary great to know Bor is a sailing team !!!

At 11:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"GGYC is considering filing a complaint with the New York Courts on the grounds of breach of fiduciary duty because of your Club’s actions over the past five years. Your selection of the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup would form part of that claim."

Looks like SNG better figure out how to change their ways as it looks like GGYC has decided to clean house. Only hope is however organizes the race for these 2 clubs does a good job of it & The Cup can move on with some changes to the Deed.

At 10:29 PM, Blogger PowerYachtBlog said...

this will get to 9 - 0 for the GGYC, they will win another court ruling in there favour wait and see. surely the venue might be ok but Bertarelli could have been less dumb and for once forget his pocket interest in order to conclude this matter once and for all... or will we ever!!!!

At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not (anymore) an Alinghi fan but a letter with publicly available internet links to support one's point is unprofessional to say the least. Possibly the only purpose of the letter is to distribute these links for "marketing purposes" which would give the whole thing a very sleeky touch. BMWOracle should be able to do better than this...


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