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Judge decides date for next America's Cup

A New York judge on Thursday ruled against Switzerland's Alinghi sailing team and set February 2010 as the date for the next America's Cup.

This content was published on May 14, 2009 - 22:06

Alinghi, backed by biotechnology billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, have been locked in a legal dispute for two years with California-based BMW Oracle Racing over the 33rd running of the race.

On Tuesday, Alinghi revealed that Swiss and French police were investigating charges that a former BMW Oracle employee had spied on the construction of their new boat.

In her ruling, Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich ordered BMW Oracle to reveal details about the boat they intend to race.

Both teams were ordered to select a third-party mediator within one week and return to planning talks for yachting's most prestigious race.

"We're delighted with the outcome," said Barry Ostrager, a lawyer for Société Nautique de Genève, Alinghi's sponsor. Tom Ehman, a spokesman for the American side, said BMW Oracle were also "delighted" with the ruling.

Ostrager said it would be "definitely possible" but difficult to hold the race in February. He said it would not start in Valencia, Spain, where the last contest ended.

The race will have to be held in the Northern Hemisphere however, Werner Kornreich ruled.

The next America's Cup race was originally scheduled for this year. Alinghi had accepted a challenge for the title the Club Nautico Español de Vela, a Spanish team that had formed just days before submitting its challenge.

But BMW Oracle contested the challenge in a lawsuit filed in 2007. Earlier this year, New York State's highest court, the Court of Appeals, found Alinghi was wrong to accept the challenge.

The court ruling declared BMW Oracle, financed by software tycoon Larry Ellison, as the official challenger.

Under America's Cup rules, the challenger proposes to race the defending champion and together they plan the terms of the next race.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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