Wednesday, 20 January 2010

America's Cup: GGYC Statement - Redress Claim re. Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions Changes

by Tom Ehman

The America's Cup defender, Société Nautique de Genève, issued today [Tuesday] a revised Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions for the 33rd America's Cup Match set to begin on February 8th in the waters off Valencia, Spain.

Both documents are riddled with errors, and continue SNG's practice of interpreting rules - or creating new ones - solely to favour Alinghi and harm the chances of the Challenger.

The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions are heavily biased in favour of the Defender and its yacht despite input from GGYC and ISAF, the sport's world governing body, during last week's meeting in Singapore and a meeting in late December in Sydney.

Therefore, today [Tuesday] GGYC has made an application for redress to the International Jury, asking that the Jury be convened as soon as possible to negate or revise the biased provisions before the Match.

Specifically, SNG has:

- Effectively re-inserted Racing Rule 53 ("Skin Friction") after obtaining a New York Supreme Court ruling to delete it.
- Set the starting time for the races despite the Deed of Gift's requirement that this be agreed by mutual consent.
- Set wind and wave limits to favour its own yacht.
- Changed the latest draft of the Notice of Race to ban certain wind detection equipment now being used by BOR that, previously, was permitted under all earlier drafts of the NOR.
- Re-arranged the hierarchy of the applicable rules so that SNG's Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions would, in the case of conflict, overrule the Racing Rules; this is highly irregular and contrary to normal practice in yacht racing.

It is clearer than ever that SNG is hell-bent on making the America's Cup the Alinghi Cup.

We now look to the International Jury to reinstate the correct and proper rules and procedures.

Golden Gate Yacht Club

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