August 15, 2009: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - - Today Vice Commander Fred Meyer and General Secretary Alec Tournier representing Société Nautique de Genève, the Defender of Record for the 33rd America's Cup, asked Team BMW ORACLE and the Golden Gate Yacht Club to "cease interfering with the implementation of the Order of the Court and the conduct of the 33rd Cup."
An excerpt from the letter stated: "The Court's Order regarding venue is clear: SNG had the right to designate either Valencia or "any other location" for the 33rd Cup. There is no Hemisphere restriction. Moreover, you are simply incorrect in suggesting that the waters adjacent to Ras Al-Khaïmah are not "ocean courses, free of headlands". The course area SNG has identified by both longitude and latitude coordinates and shown on an accompanying chart does not have any headlands or any other lands withing the area described for racing. The Persian Gulf is part of the Indian Ocean."
Earlier in the week, Larry Ellison speaking at a San Diego gala that introduced the BMW ORACLE team for the 33rd America's Cup, had expressed concern about Alinghi's choice of Ras Al-Khaïmah on two fronts. Ellison stated security concerns for his entire team that numbers over 300 persons and the less than 100 mile proximity to the Iranian boarder, and secondly the suitability of the venue owing to its light winds and that it did not meet the requirements of an ocean course. Ellison said it is but one more attempt by the Alinghi team to rig the event in their favor - - "they've chosen the umpires, made up the rules and now chosen an unsuitable venue," he said. "But still we intend to compete," he added with emphasis.
Certainly his (Ellison's) choice of team is indication of his intent to compete. Three time America's Cup champion Russell Coutts is the CEO for the team, Jimmy Spithill the helmsman and a support team of more than 300 people. During the gala last Tuesday he made four key announcements:
As it stands now, the 33rd America's Cup will be held in the United Arab Emirates and contested with giant billion dollar multi-hull vessels using engines and hydraulics to sail in very light winds. So much for the spirit of the NEW America's Cup.
by Randy White