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Cup feud continues

Emirates Team New Zealand is seeking financial compensation for the delay in holding the next America’s Cup due to legal fighting involving who should have the title Challenger of the Record, according to a recent press release.

The Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled in November 2007 that San Francisco-based Golden Gate Yacht Club, home of the BMW Oracle Racing syndicate owned by software mogul Larry Ellison, would hold the Challenger title for the next America’s Cup with an eye towards 2009.

Bertarelli’s Alinghi team, based at the Société Nautique de Genève of Switzerland, backs a difference Challenger of Record, Club Náutico Español de Vela of Spain. A legal challenge by the Golden Gate Yacht Club will apparently push the next Cup regatta back until 2011.

“The delay in staging the next America’s Cup is harming every challenging syndicate as they have to stretch budgets for a two-year campaign over three or perhaps four years,” stated Grant Dalton, managing director of Emirates Team New Zealand in the release.

Dalton says their first action claims damages for a breach of contract from an agreement made that was an understanding with Bertarelli that the 33rdAmerica’s Cup would go ahead in 2009, according to the release.

“Bertarelli had the chance to accept a reasonable proposal from Oracle, which was signed by the majority of challengers and which would have allowed the America’s Cup to be held in 2009. He would not do so,” stated Dalton.

Alinghi’s legal counsel stated they were disappointed to hear about New Zealand’s decision, but plan to defend themselves against the charges.

“There actions are totally without merit, wildly miss the target and will be defended rigorously,” stated Lucien Masmejan, Alinghi’s legal counsel in a recent press release. “We have repeatedly made it clear that Alinghi welcomes a swift court resolution and wants to get the action back on the water as soon as possible.”

-Elizabeth Ellis