Saturday, 23 January 2010

America's Cup: Statement by Tom Ehman, GGYC

by Tom Ehman

The Deed of Gift requires the competing yachts to be "Constructed in Country." In the court papers filed last night by Société Nautique de Genève, they admit they are using 3DL sails. Racing sailors the world over know that 3DL sails are American, not Swiss, made.

Instead of demonstrating that their sails have been constructed in Switzerland as required by the Deed of Gift, their court papers attempt to duck the issue with a long list of excuses, and shift the focus away from their own problems with bizarre attacks on our ýacht.

In recent months, their excuses have been, literally, all over the map. First, it was, "Sails aren't part of a sailboat." Then, "It's not an issue until we race." Next, "Our sails were built in the USA but assembled in Switzerland." Yesterday, it was, "If we can't use our 3DL sails we'll forfeit." Now, in their latest court papers, "GGYC's boat is a French design."

This is untrue, and there is nothing whatsoever in the Deed of Gift that say where, or by whom, a yacht must be designed - only that it must be constructed in the country of the yacht club it represents.

After claiming repeatedly, and erroneously, that GGYC is trying to win the Cup in court, SNG's latest filing seeks to disqualify GGYC's yacht. Moreover, SNG threatens to bring further litigation after the Match is they lose to GGYC on the water.

Making a modern sail is like baking a cake. You gather the ingredients, put it in a mold of a shape and size designated by your design team, and literally cook it. That's what takes place at the 3DL plant in Minden, Nevada, where Alinghi's sails were constructed. Shipping that cake to Switzerland and adding some candies does not make it "Swiss-made."

Golden Gate Yacht Club

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