The drama engulfing next year’s America’s Cup battle between America’s BMW Oracle Racing Team and Switzerland’s Team Alinghi has taken yet another bizarre turn as the New York Supreme Court ruled that the proposed venue, Ras al-Khaimah, is not acceptable.
The Supreme Court referred to the 19th century deed of gift that states that the event should not take place in the Northern Hemisphere between 1st of November and 1st of May.
Team Alinghi’s backing yacht club, Société Nautique de Genève, still has the option to appeal against the decision, but insiders consider that Valencia could still be a good choice, as neither team has stated any objection to it and the city successfully hosted the event as recently as 2007. It is possible that Valencia’s Northern Hemisphere location might be overlooked as both teams attempt to find some common ground.
Alinghi’s lead counsel, Lucien Masmejan, was clearly disappointed by the outcome, stating that he thought that “Justice Cahn’s May 2008 decision allowed the Defender to choose Valencia or any other location.”
He added: “Ras al-Khaimah has put enormous time and effort into this 33rd America’s Cup project. We thank them and feel sorry for this unexpected result out of the New York court.”
There was also pain of a more practical nature for Team Alinghi; while BMW Oracle Racing trains off the coast of San Diego, California, Team Alinghi’s catamaran has already made the journey to RAK.