US yacht club appeals in America's Cup spat

The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) on Friday appealed against a New York court's decision stripping it of the role of Challenger of Record for the next America's Cup.

This content was published on August 2, 2008 - 13:26

On Tuesday the New York Supreme Court's Appellate Division had ruled 3-2 that Spain's Club Nautico Espanol de Vela, not San Francisco's GGYC, should be the Challenger of Record, giving it the right to negotiate terms of the next competition with the current America's Cup holder, Switzerland's Alinghi.

It was a reversal of a lower-court ruling that had given the right to the GGYC. The San Francisco club backs Oracle Racing, a syndicate headed by Silicon Valley maverick Larry Ellison.

GGYC had contended in a yearlong court case that the Spanish club was a sham and that the Swiss were trying to tilt the rules for the next regatta in their favour. The appeals court disagreed.

"We believe the Challenger of Record has to be a real yacht club," GGYC spokesman Tom Ehman said. "It cannot be something that is manufactured with a defender to set up a one-sided event. This decision would set an absurd precedent. We believe we have an excellent case for winning on appeal."

Until Tuesday's ruling, Oracle Racing and Alinghi had been preparing for a rare one-on-one showdown in giant multihull boats for the oldest trophy in sports.

If GGYC isn't successful in its last-chance appeal to the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany, the America's Cup would revert to a traditional multichallenger regatta.

America's Cup rules specify that legal disputes on the competition be settled in the New York state court.

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