Monday, December 28, 2009

Statement from Tom Ehman, Golden Gate Yacht Club spokesman

[Source: BMW Oracle] The Golden Gate Yacht Club and BMW Oracle Racing intends to meet with Société Nautique de Genève as soon as possible in an attempt to remove the question mark hanging over the legality of Alinghi’s yacht they will use to defend the forthcoming 33rd America’s Cup.

Foremost is the nationality clause in the America’s Cup Deed of Gift document which governs the event and requires the yachts of the Challenger of Record and the Defender to be constructed in the country of the yacht club they represent (“CIC”).

Last week SNG was informed by GGYC of the obvious illegality of its yacht’s USA-built sails. Yesterday SNG responded and agreed to meet on the matter. “With racing scheduled to start in Valencia in just six weeks, we want this serious issue dealt with before the boats come to the starting line,” said GGYC spokesman Tom Ehman.

The 33rd Match starts in Valencia, Spain, on February 8th.

"We don’t think the sailing world would tolerate the two teams failing to sort
this out, especially given that GGYC first put SNG on notice concerning CIC in
July 2008," Ehman said.

"Virtually every racing sailor in the world knows North Sails’ molded construction is proprietary and unique to its Minden plant in the USA. It is the only place in the world where such sails are constructed. Nevada is not Switzerland."

When the two sides meet, GGYC is prepared to give the defender reasonable time to manufacture sails in Switzerland and take other remedial measures. "Alinghi’s sails are not their only CIC problem, only the most obvious," Ehman said.

Failing a satisfactory outcome, GGYC will take the CIC issue to the International Jury.

“What no one wants is the question mark hanging over Alinghi to turn into a question mark hanging over the result of the Match. The time to sort this matter out is right now, not during or after the Match, said Ehman.”

Alinghi carrying out the last sailing tests on Alinghi 5. According to BMW Oracle's claim the sails were not made in Switzerland. Ras al-Khaimah, 6 December 2009. Video copyright Alinghi

# # #
Q & A

What does the Deed of Gift require of the Challenging and Defending Yachts?
“…a yacht or vessel propelled by sails only and constructed in the country to which the Challenging Club belongs, against any one yacht or vessel constructed in the country of the Club holding the Cup.”

What does a yacht or vessel include?
Historically, “yacht or vessel” has always included the hull, appendages, rig and sails.

What does this mean?
Exactly what it says. Constructed does not permit parts made in Switzerland to be added to Alinghi 5 in Italy or Ras Al Khaimah, or sails manufactured in the USA to go to Switzerland for “finishing” and then be called Swiss-made.

Are sails the only issue?
Unfortunately, no. The Nevada sails are the most visible violation. However Alinghi will need to clarify where other major components have been manufactured and/or fitted to its yacht.

Does Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth believe the Jury should sort out such problems before the Match?
Yes. At the recent World Yacht Racing Forum both Russell Coutts, BMW ORACLE Racing’s CEO, and Brad Butterworth agreed that the result on the water should be free from litigation. Coutts said: “Put the Jury in place now and use that Jury to answer open questions that, perhaps, still need to be resolved.” Butterworth was asked if this made sense. “Yes it does,” the Alinghi skipper replied.

Why is GGYC raising the question now?
We want all issues resolved before racing begins for the 33rd America’s Cup. Complying with the Deed of Gift’s CIC requirement was first highlighted by GGYC in July 2008. It is much better to get all remaining rules-issues resolved now, to avoid protests or litigation during and after the Match as well as causing possible delay to the 34th America’s Cup. GGYC has waited for more than a year for SNG to allow ISAF to establish the International Jury. The five person panel was named three weeks ago, but the legal sign-off to enable the Jury to sit is still being held-up by SNG.

SNG said GGYC only wants to litigate?
On the contrary, GGYC is trying to avoid litigation by resolving this issue before racing begins. CIC is a central requirement in the Deed and GGYC will not allow SNG to recklessly disregard the rules. SNG must realize this, especially given that 13 of 14 decisions made by the New York courts have found the Swiss defender’s interpretations of the rules to be wrong.

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18 Comments:

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Alinghi has to show that all is swiss made, also BMW has to show that all is USA made.
Result will be:

1:1

 
At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Seis said...

That's very goog. Alinghi accepting to talk and agree all the no resolved issues before the regatta. A great notice!
The CIC and LWL are the only two rules about boats construction...

 
At 4:50 PM, Anonymous JamieF said...

So tell me, what is not constructed in USA on BMWOracle. You seem to know more on this issue than I do.

 
At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BMW = Bayrische Motorwagen, and Bayern is not in the US...

 
At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Following Ehman: Nevada is the only place in the world for building such big sails.

May be that was the reason for choosing such big boats for BMWOracle. Ehman played the game that no other team could get racesails for this size of raceboats. And everybody knows only 3dl or 3DI will work in this size on competitive boats.

Shame on Ehman.

 
At 5:58 PM, Blogger Norby said...

not exactly so: "custom" items have to obey the cic clause. "off-the-shelf" items don't need to comply.

my guess would be:

bor 1 x 0 alinghi

 
At 6:20 PM, Blogger David said...

Gentelmen, I am waiting for the the regatta start date to be cast in concrete, so that I may buy airline tickets and make hotel reservations. What isit going to take to finaly end the this Americas cup agony. wp3hidavid

 
At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gentelmen, I am waiting for the the regatta start date to be cast in concrete, so that I may buy airline tickets and make hotel reservations. What isit going to take to finaly end the this Americas cup agony.

Me too

 
At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We don’t think the sailing world would tolerate the two teams failing to sort this out, especially given that GGYC first put SNG on notice concerning CIC in July 2008," Ehman said.
Tom Ehman , you insult the sailing world. I am unemployed in the sailing world and want this race to happen so that I might be able to get my job back with one of the smaller teams which I used to work very happily for. So do many many others. Stop this nonsense, front up and race. Then we can maybe start the 34th while you squabble the 33rd out in court - something which no-one in the racing world will either want, or will want to be associated with. Stop it. Please.

 
At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to JamesF...
some hydraulic parts are not build from Cariboni in Italy?

 
At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:04 PM - you're barking up the wrong treee as the AC is not about employing cunning professionals so they have a career in the AC.

 
At 3:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is all bullshit and it should all end The Americans are being stupid and so are the Swiss, I am sick of it all. I used to be proud that I worked for an AC team now I am sick of talking about this joke of a cup.....

 
At 3:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is all bullshit and it should all end The Americans are being stupid and so are the Swiss, I am sick of it all. I used to be proud that I worked for an AC team now I am sick of talking about this joke of a cup.....

 
At 8:57 AM, Anonymous JamieF said...

Sorry Norby,
but I am afraid the deed does not discriminate between "custom" items and "off-the-shelf" items. This rule was used only in MC ACs

 
At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAN UP AND RACE ALINGHI THIS IS SPORT STOP PAYING LAWYERS TO DO A SAILIORS JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BMW has a factory in USA, that factory is sponsoring BOR90.
Also Alinghi has some non Switzerland sponsors, but this isn't remarkable.

 
At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have heard that BOR has contacted every Alinghi supplier month ago to find out if or what kind of parts they have delivered. If that's true...Ehman you are a rat...

 
At 2:09 PM, Blogger gavin said...

"What does this mean?
Exactly what it says. Constructed does not permit parts made in" Switzerland to be added to Alinghi 5 in Italy or Ras Al Khaimah, or sails manufactured in the USA to go to Switzerland for “finishing” and then be called Swiss-made."

Can BOR tell us whether this also applies to winches manufactured in the UK to go to the USA then be called US-made

 

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