Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Statement from Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW Oracle

[Source: BMW Oracle] Can the Swiss defender race with sails made in the USA? This is the question Golden Gate Yacht Club put to the New York Supreme Court today.

GGYC has asked the Court to resolve this following the breakdown of two days of talks in Singapore with the America’s Cup defender Société Nautique de Geneve at which mutual agreement was being finalized when negotiations ended.

The Singapore meeting followed one last week in Valencia where a previous goodfaith effort was also made to settle the matter.

"Naturally we are disappointed to see the chance of agreement taken away," commented Coutts.

Also at the talks were David Kellett, from the International Sailing Federation’s Executive Committee, and David Tillett, chairman of the International Jury for 33rd Match.

Constructed-in-country is not a hypothetical question, but a fundamental one. The Deed of Gift is clear. Without mutual consent and in the absence of other rules, Alinghi, cannot construct sails in the USA and claim they are Swiss-made.

The New York Supreme Court has previously ruled on other key issues affecting the yachts of the challenger and defender ahead of the Match; such as whether engines can be used to power the winches and whether rudders are included in the measurement of the yacht’s waterline length.

“Once again SNG is showing total disregard for the Deed. First SNG claimed that sails were not part of the yacht. Then it claimed that Alinghi’s sails were built in Switzerland, not the USA. Now, SNG is saying that ‘constructed-in-country’ is not relevant until it announces its yacht for the Match.”

GGYC disagrees on all three counts.

“Our aim is to make sure that the Deed of Gift is upheld, and that the result of the Match on the water is beyond question,” Coutts said.

It is expected that the Court will rule before the first race scheduled for February 8 in Valencia, Spain.

Q & A Constructed- in -Country

What is CIC?

It means “constructed in the country.”

It is the DNA of the America’s Cup.

The national origin of each yacht is fundamental to America’s Cup

Why is CIC important?

The Deed of Gift requires the challenging and defending yachts to be “constructed in the country” of the yacht clubs they represent.

The question mark hanging over Alinghi’s sails must not be a question mark left hanging over the Match.

Are Alinghi’s sails illegal?

If they are made in America, they cannot be “Swiss-made.”

What is the 3DL process?

A sail designer sends a ‘file’ of the required design. North Sails supply the high technology fibres, films, cloths, tapes, adhesives etc to construct sails over a sophisticated mould using heat and vacuum techniques.

At the end of the process the customer has a virtually finished sail delivered.

A customer may or may not add joints, fittings, stripes, chafe patches, etc., but effectively the sail is manufactured in Minden, Nevada.

Why is GGYC going to court?

Alinghi must abide by the rules same as we have. CIC is a basic and long-standing Cup rule.

Unless there is mutual consent to more liberal rules, CIC must be adhered to by both teams.
We want the result on the water to be the final result.

This is a Deed of Gift issue. The Court is the right jurisdiction for this.

This is not a hypothetical question or protest. We are asking the Court to confirm the correct interpretation of the Deed.

Won’t this delay the Cup?

No. The opposite is true. By removing doubt over Alinghi’s sails, there will be no need for litigation after the Match.

Removing doubt before the racing starts is the fairest solution for the Cup, race fans and both competitors.

We believe the Court process can be completed before the 8 February.

Are you trying to disqualify Alinghi?

No. Alinghi took a gamble building its sails in America. They can still build sails in SUI, or use sails that they may have already built there.

Switzerland has a good record of innovation in sail making.

There is no reason why Alinghi could not have made legal sails in Switzerland in the past; no reason why they can not now.

Is GGYC still offering time to Alinghi?

Yes, but only a short time to sort this out.

It is really for SNG to find a solution Alinghi’s problem.

GGYC has been, and always will be, ready to negotiate about any problem, and any reasonable solution.

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At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole 3DL accusation is not a big deal. Alinghi has another set of Swiss-made sails ready in case, NY Courts are - once again - rouling against the Cup defender. If the best material is not alowed, the second best will do. BOR better be ready on the 8th Feb!!!

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

It would be really interesting to hear what Kellett and Tillett have to say about the meeting in Singapore. Alinghi and BMWOR will have their versions of events but a neutral view should give us a good idea about who is playing up. The fact that BMWOR have reverted to the courts certainly confirms they didn't get what they wanted from the meeting.

At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Russell, you are an ill man...
your behave is blackmail and you know that. The only thing you need is more time! Shame on you!

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One question is missing in BOR self serving Q&A:

Are you using CIC as another desperate manoeuver to try to delay the match at any cost as you really are not ready with your wing in VLC?

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is GGYC still offering time to Alinghi?
Yes, but only a short time to sort this out.
It is really for SNG to find a solution Alinghi’s problem.

GGYC has been, and always will be, ready to negotiate about any problem, and any

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Renaud said...

Time to learn to swimm for BOR as the water is very close ... and NYC won't be able this time to delay the match to allow BOR to finish swimming lessons.

NYC can say YES or NOT, Alinghi doens't care about it. The good thing is that it will clear the rules for the 34 AC.

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Russell... how embarrassing this is. How can you say these things. What a disgrace you have become. I would have left the talking to Tom if i were you. You have now lowered yourself to his scummy level. Shocking.

Lets hear North Sails opinion on this.

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deed says: "Any organized Yacht Club [...] shall always be entitled to the right of sailing [...] against any one yacht or vessel constructed in the country of the Club holding the Cup."
It says 'yacht or vessel' - and says nothing about sails & wing... So where's the problem???

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You cannot be serious wit this!

At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly the guys from ISAF said there´s no problem with ALinghi using 3DL, this is the only reason Oracle would take it to court.

If Kornreich rules in Oracle´s favour we can assume she´s on the payroll.

With only 14 days sailing with the wing it´s no wonder Oracle want a delay.

At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the Coutts/ Butterworth love fest at the WYRC ends in another marital spat. We can see now why Coutts evaded the question on further legal action.

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lo que Larry no se esta dando cuenta es el tremendo desprecio a las marcas BMW y ORACLE le estan causando Russell & Tom. Otra vez mal aconsejado (recordar a Dickson). Tiene dinero, pero no aprende y a este paso va camino de ganar a Sir Thomas Lipton.
Mirar el historico de regatas Alinghi-BMWORACLE en 2003 y 2007.

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone out there provide a history on whether AC yachts through the history of the event always had sails CIC.

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a new low from bmworing. winning on the water, shure not. i really can't belive what a 50 million bonus does to a person. once you where my hero, but now you are even less then zero!

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do any of you really understand what a greedy selfish man Russell is?

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see that BMWO is taking steps to keep Team Cheater (SNG) from violating the Deed of Gift. The 3DL sails are essentially made in Utah, with a minimum of work necessary to finish them. Even according to Swiss law the sails wouldn't be considered "Made in Switzerland".

At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Can anyone out there provide a history on whether AC yachts through the history of the event always had sails CIC."

Back in the days of 12 meters racing for the cup, the boats couldn't even use plain dacron sailcloth from other countries. In more recent times, there has been mutual consent agreements that specifically allowed the use of 3DL sails (which are only made in the USA). There is *no* mutual consent agreement in this AC series.

At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firstly they're molded in Nevada. Secondly go say minimum amount of effort to the sailmakers working a sixty hour week for the last nine months.

See how frivolous with facts you are after that

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

I guess if they hadn't dropped and seriously damaged the wing when they shipped out of San Diego, we might be seeing an different behaviour from Oracle.

Lets hope the wind blows down their tent so we can see them (re)-Constructing the wing in Valencia.


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