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Ruling gives U.S. team control of next America’s Cup

NOV. 29 — New York State Supreme Court Judge Herman J. Cahn ruled yesterday that the San Francisco-based Golden Gate Yacht Club will be given the title Challenger of the Record for the America’s Cup over the Spanish yacht club, Club Náutico Español de Vela.

Golden Gate YC is the home of the BMW Oracle Racing syndicate, which is backed by Oracle software mogul Larry Ellison. Club Náutico Español de Vela is the home club of the Swiss syndicate, Alinghi, winner of the last two America’s Cup regattas.

Cahn ruled Club Náutico Español de Vela, named Challenger of Record shortly after Alinghi defended the Cup this past summer, was ineligible for the title because the club does not host regattas.

The ruling gives the American syndicate the right to challenge the Swiss syndicate to a best-of-three head-to-head Cup challenge in 2008. In a statement, BMW Oracle Racing indicated it preferred to negotiate the rules for the 33rd America’s Cup with as many challengers as possible with an eye for a 2009 regatta series.

“We are disappointed that a technicality made CNEV invalid and we are now looking forward to discussions with the Golden Gate Yacht Club to keep the America’s Cup functioning,” Ernesto Bertarelli, head of Alinghi, said in a statement.

— Elizabeth Ellis