Sunday, October 26, 2008
Well, it appears that Team Alinghi’s announcement that they are “taking the necessary steps to get the 33rd America’s Cup back on track”, failed to acknowledge the conciliatory proposals put forward by Larry Ellisson of Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) in his 17 October letter to Ernesto Bertarelli of Société Nautique de Genève (SNG).
In essence, the letter comes down to nine points:
1 GGYC support plans to up-date AC regatta to extent possible under current Deed of Gift.
2 Agrees some SNG proposals to update have merit but should not be implemented without serious consideration and then only after consultation with ‘the important stakeholders’ [presumably Trustees, recent challengers and prospective challengers]
3 GGYC agrees to end legal action if SNG agree to run 33rd Challenge with similar rules to 2007 event.
4 Strongly supports a one boat per team to help cut costs, provided there is a return to similar rules to 2007 event.
5 GGYC not in favour of Defending team (Alinghi) being able to join in Challenger Selection Series as this risks diluting the ‘impact and suspense of an America’s Cup match’.
6 GGYC would be in favour of 5 if ‘points earned during the CSS against the eventual challenger are applied to the America’s Cup Match’ or
7 GGYC would be in favour of 5 if ‘the races involving the Defender do not score (or lose) points for any Challenger vis-à-vis the other Challengers in the selection series.
8 GGYC believes selection of the new type of yacht should be decided in consultation with all interested parties. Alternatively, retain the existing design for one more Match as this would be the cheapest route.
9 GGYC agrees 2010 would be a good target date for the next Cup series.
Note to Points 5, 6 & 7: GGYC are saying they accept that a one-boat campaign (to reduce costs) means that the Defender (Team Alinghi) would be at a disadvantage in not being able to race-tune effectively. It is only for this reason they would agree that, for the first time in the Cup’s 157 year history, the Defender be allowed to tune up against the potential Challengers.
What GGYC do not accept is that these ‘tune-up’ races should be allowed to build up points for the eventual Challenger as in previous Selection Series, since the Defender could potentially influence the results and therefore the eventual outcome of the Series.
This two-page letter suggests the two opposing teams are very close to having the same goals and yet, from Team Alinghi’s announcement just six days later, it seems that once again, doubt and indecision could find us waiting for a New York court’s ‘final’ decision in the New Year.