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Alinghi and BMW Oracle ordered into the water

A New York judge on Friday refused to hear the latest salvo in sailing’s biggest feud, setting the stage for the running of the sport’s most prestigious race.

Justice Shirley Kornreich said she would not hear a complaint filed by California-based BMW Oracle Racing against Switzerland’s Alinghi before the 33rd running of the America’s Cup.

Barring any successful legal challenges, the Swiss and Americans will begin their best-of-three showdown on February 8 off Valencia, Spain.

BMW Oracle had challenged Alinghi’s sails, which are made in Switzerland but from material produced in the United States. The rules state that the boat of each team must be built in its respective country.

At issue on Friday was the interpretation of that rule.

BMW Oracle’s vessel employs a massive 58-metre-high rigid wing in place of a sail.

The Société Nautique de Genève, Alinghi’s sponsoring club, said earlier it would quit the race had its sail been found to be in violation of the Deed of Gift, a 19th century document that governs the race.

Alinghi is owned by billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli; BMW Oracle is controlled by Silicon Valley tycoon Larry Ellison. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR