Thursday, December 04, 2008
Thursday, 04 December 2008- An open letter from BMW Oracle's Russell Coutts to the America's Cup Challengers
BMW ORACLE Racing CEO and Skipper Russell Coutts has replied to Ayre Challenge skipper's oppen letter with another open letter to the AC33 Challenger community. In it he says that his team is willing to consider entering AC 33 “by 15 December even though it is a totally arbitrary deadline” but he needs to see “the current drafts of the protocol, event regulations, and competition regulations.”
He adds, “If we do not receive these materials as requested – or our review of them shows there has been insufficient progress in resolving fairness issues – we will cease our 17-month effort to resolve this dispute with the Defender and other Challengers, and will rely on the New York State Court of Appeals to decide.”
Here is the full text of his letter.
Dear America’s Cup colleagues,
As you know, my colleagues and I at BMW ORACLE Racing are eager to join the Challengers for AC33 and we’ve made genuinely constructive suggestions and concessions to make that happen, including embracing ISAF’s willingness to mediate this dispute.
We share your interest in having a world-class field of Challengers for our sport’s pinnacle event, and appreciate your belief that BMW ORACLE’s participation is essential.
We are willing to consider entering the competition by 15 December even though it is a totally arbitrary deadline. However, inasmuch as we’ve been excluded to date from the discussions, we need further clarity on fundamental issues (which you say have been addressed) to meet our concerns, and those of others, about fair and competitive rules.
Specifically, we ask that you arrange to have the Defender send us by Monday, 8 December the current drafts of the protocol, event regulations, and competition regulations. This would give us a week to properly review them against our Ten Point Plan and determine our course of action before the 15 December deadline.
If we do not receive these materials as requested – or our review of them shows there has been insufficient progress in resolving fairness issues – we will cease our 17-month effort to resolve this dispute with the Defender and other Challengers, and will rely on the New York State Court of Appeals to decide.
With respect to the lawsuit, we are moving into the home stretch with a decision on our appeal expected early next year. Given the stakes involved in preserving the integrity of this great event, we do not believe a few more months presents an unreasonable delay. As we’ve said before, if we prevail, as we expect, we will work toward having a fully competitive, conventional multi-challenger regatta with fair rules in 2010.
Still, we are willing to give a settlement outside of court one last try. In the cordial, friendly spirit of your letter, I hope you will help move this process along by arranging to provide us the documents we request.
CEO and Skipper
Meanwhile in a report in El Mundo yesterday Rita Barberá, Valencia's mayoress, after a meeting with the president of Valencia's regional government, Francisco Camps, said that both are ready to close the deal for the 33rd America's Cup to be held in the city.
“Pending the judge's decision, we are both ready to close the deal as soon as possible”, Barberá stated "For us it is already mentally here." she then told journalists to ask the central government's Vice President, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, "when she comes", whether she also agrees.
“We have the will to support the celebration of the 33rd America's Cup in Valencia with all the boats and teams possible and it should take place in July 2010, with two pre-regattas in 2009 as offered by Alinghi", she concluded.