Tuesday, July 29, 2008


In a surprise announcement released just over one hour ago, The New York Supreme Court decided by a 3-2 majority that the Spanish Challenge from CNEV in July 2007 was valid after all. The surprise is that most observers had assumed that BMW Oracle were the accepted challengers and that a ‘Grudge Match’ between Oracle and Cup-holders Alinghi would take place in 90ft catamarans. The only questions appeared to be where? and when?

Desafio Espanol chief Augustin Zulueta told The Associated Press: "We're very hopeful that this means an end to this long process and that it will allow all of the teams to race the next America's Cup at Valencia."

The Court also gave CNEV 10 months to prepare for the regatta, meaning that a challenge could take place in 2009 as originally scheduled.

However, this will depend on whether Golden Gate Yacht Club, home of BMW Oracle, decide to contest the appeal. Tom Ehman of GGYC said today “We are surprised and disappointed by this ruling. We will now be taking legal advice and considering the next step.”

It is hard to believe that Larry Ellison, head of BMW Oracle will allow matters to rest here. He has invested millions of dollars since last July, both in legal fees, recruiting top yachtsmen and designers, not to mention building some hugely expensive state-of-the-art catamarans.

We will be back with more news as things happen and look for more news here

Mike O’Neill

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