Tuesday, 31 July 2007

ACM Nominates Arbitration Panel for 33rd America's Cup

Three people were today given possibly the most unwanted jobs in sailing.

They were presented with the poisoned chalice of arbitrating the protocol and non-sporting/technical issues for the 33rd America's Cup. In doing so, the ACM acted in defiance of the moves being undertaken in the Courts of New York, potentially giving Larry Ellison all the provocation required to justify a much rumoured injunction to prevent any further progress in the organising of an America's Cup in accordance with the ACM's 33rd Protocol (1st edition, perhaps?).

The full content of the release, posted here, can be read below:

Three prestigious members nominated for Arbitration Panel


AC Management (ACM), as the Event Authority for the 33rd America’s Cup, is pleased to announce the nomination of the Arbitration Panel that will resolve disputes in the frame of the 33rd America's Cup, except sporting and technical issues which will be solved by a separate Sailing Jury to be established by the end of the year. The Arbitration Panel will also act as an appeal body for decisions of the Sailing Jury.

The Arbitration Panel will be composed of three members with a long-term experience in sports law: Professor Henry Peter, from Switzerland, who will chair the Panel, Graham McKenzie, from New Zealand and Luis María Cazorla Prieto, from Spain. Both Mr.McKenzie and Professor Peter served on the Jury of the 32nd America’s Cup. Prof. Henry Peter was also a member of the 31st America's Cup Arbitration Panel.

Arbitration Panel Member Profiles

- Henry Peter
Swiss and French nationality. Obtained a Law Degree (1976-1979) and Diploma of Superior Studies (DES) in commercial law at the Law School of the University of Geneva (1983). He was admitted to the Geneva bar after ranking first among all candidates (November 1981). Was a teaching assistant at the University of Geneva (1982-1983) and visiting scholar at the University of Berkeley, California (1983-1984). Worked with the law firm Carter, Ledyard & Milburn in New York before establishing himself as a Lawyer in Lugano (Ticino, Switzerland) in 1984. Obtained his PhD in Law in Geneva in 1988. Has been partner of his firm since 1988 (currently Peter, Bernasconi & Partners). Since October 1997, is Professor at the Department of commercial law of the University of Geneva and, since 1998, Head of the joint Master in Business Law (MBL) program of the Universities of Lausanne and Geneva.

Since November 2001 he is Vice-Chairman of the disciplinary chamber of the Swiss Olympic Association in charge of doping cases; between 2003 and 2006 he has been Chairman of the Geneva Business Law Association (AGDA); since 2003 he is member of the Swiss experts group on company reorganisation appointed by the Federal Office of Justice. Since 2004 he is member of the Swiss Takeover Board and, since 2007, of the Sanction Committee of the Swiss Stock Exchange (SWX). Since 1994 he is consul of Sweden for the Italian part of Switzerland.

Other merits: Member of the editing board of the Swiss Review of Business Law, member of the board of the Centre of banking and financial law of the University of Geneva, frequently arbitrator in international disputes relating to commercial and sports matters, director of several Swiss and foreign companies.

He is the author, co-author or editor of several books and numerous scientific publications.

- Graham McKenzie
A recently retired partner (1982-2006) in the major law firm Bell Gully, in New Zealand. He obtained a Bachelors of law degree at Victoria University of Wellington (1974) and a Masters of law degree from Warwick University, England (1978). He is a Notary Public. He is admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in New Zealand and Queensland, Australia.

He has extensive experience of acting for large corporates in share and asset acquisitions relating to either selling or purchasing of existing businesses. He has been involved with a number of substantial joint venture projects in New Zealand and overseas. His corporate experience includes advising a range of corporate sectors including the aircraft, super yacht, construction, food and technology and wine industries.

Mr.McKenzie is a Director of several public companies. He is Deputy Chairman of Saint Kentigern Trust Board (a substantial New Zealand educational Trust) and a Trustee of the Bruce McLaren Trust. He has sailed both competitively and for leisure in New Zealand and the Pacific for many years in a wide range of yachts.

He was a member of the Americas Cup Jury for the 32nd Americas Cup.

- Luis María Cazorla Prieto
Doctor of Law with Special and highest Distinction at the Complutense University, Madrid; Professor doctor of Financial and Taxation Law at the King Juan Carlos University, Madrid, at the present moment, Complutense University, Madrid (1977-1995) and Burgos University (1995-1999); practicing Lawyer, head of practice specialising in Taxation, Business, Administrative, Sport and Labour Law. He was awarded the Grand Cross of San Raimundo de Peñafort (2005), the highest Spanish distinction for a jurist, and the Medal of Sporting Merit (1998).

Cazorla is the author of more than forty books about law, sport, sociology and literature. Throughout his career he has held the following positions: Director General Tax Minister’s Office (1979-1981), Secretary General of Congress of Deputies (1982-1988), Chief Counsel to the Spanish Parliament (1982-1988), Secretary General of the Central Electoral Commission (1982-1988), Vice-president Editorial Committee of Thomson-Aranzadi Press (1998), Member of the COI 2000 Commission of the International Olympic Committee and its Executive Committee (1999), Member of the Juridical Commission of the International Olympic Committee (2000-2002) and the Commission Law and Sport of the Olympic Committee (2005-5007), General Secretary of the Board of Directors of Bolsas y Mercados Españoles, Holding Society of Mercados y Sistemas Financieros, S.A. (Spanish Stock market) (2002), first Vice-president of the Spanish Olympic Committee (2005-2007). He was also Vice-Chairman of the Court of Arbitration of the Spanish Olympic Committee and Vice-president of the Spanish Sport Law Association.


Saturday, 28 July 2007

You've Got To Smile...

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, a fact known only too well by those scamps over at Sail Karma.

It doesn't really matter whether you're in the Ellison or Bertarelli camp, you've still got to smile! Respect guys.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Bertarelli Clarifies 33rd Protocol - slightly

At this afternoon's ACM press conference to announce Valencia as the official host of the 33rd America's Cup, Alinghi & ACM's Ernesto Bertarelli clarified his view of events surrounding the 33rd Protocol.

He defined Valencia as a fantastic venue; subject to ACM's final decision, the 33rd Cup would be raced on the same North & South courses.

Regattas would take place in Valencia in Spring 2008, with a further one in Autumn 2008, at a venue yet to be determined by ACM, but guaranteed to be in Europe. Challenger selection would begin in 2009.

The new class of boat would be decided by October 2007; under ACM jurisdiction, consultation would take place with all challengers during September 2007 to define the boat's specification.

Teams will be allowed to build 2 vessels, but never to allow more than one on the water. Challengers will not line up on the water against any similar vessel until the challenger series. The rule applies equally to Alinghi, therefore Alinghi must meet competitors in the Challenger series, but would not proceed through to the challenger series final, and if beaten, they would lose their right to compete (though not clarified, presumably in further challenger matches, not the cup itself!). An independent nomination panel and jury would oversee all arrangements.

Bertarelli then went on to address the challenge from Larry Ellison and BMW Oracle Racing, who he explained that 'having failed to win on the water twice, failing to do better than 5th in the last series, have decided to bring the racing to court, to do what they could not do on the water, to win'.

The challenge posted to SNG indicated Oracle's intention to race exclusively in 90' multihulls; 'this is unacceptable' he explained, indicating that this 'damaging issue' had been passed to the independent America's Cup adjudication panel. He went on to explain that 'Ellison wishes to make this as expensive as possible, launching a costly and expensive campaign against Desfio Espanol and Alinghi, and a costly lawsuit in New York; he explained he knew litigation, and that 'no matter who wins, everybody loses money'. He criticised Ellison for pressing ahead with a costly multihull building program for 2008, while complaining that the ACM had not allowed enough time in the 33rd Protocol for challengers to prepare 90' boats for 2009. He characterised Ellison as having 'created uncertainty and damaging the America's Cup brand'.

Asked later during Q&A whether BMW Oracle racing would be allowed to compete should Ellison lose in court, Bertarelli explained, 'We're not lawyers, we're sailors, we're not corporate raiders', and responded, 'Today is a fantastic day about sport. We do not need this kind of, excuse me, bullshit'.

Lady mayoress of Valencia, Rita Barbera had earlier invited Ellison and his team to drop their litigation and enjoy the hospitality of Valencia.

Team New Zealand For 33rd America's Cup

Team New Zealand (note: not Emirates Team New Zealand) have applied and been accepted as challenger for the 33rd America's Cup.

At this afternoon's press conference to announce Valencia as the official host of the 33rd America's Cup, Ernesto Bertarelli announced that along with defenders Alinghi, challengers confirmed to date include Desafio Espanol, Team Shosholoza, TeamOrigin and today also Team New Zealand.

ACM Announce Valencia as Venue for 33rd America's Cup

America's Cup Management (ACM) held a press conference today at 17:30 in Port America, Valencia, Spain.

Prior to the conference proper, a presentation took place behind a podium proudly enscribed '33rd America's Cup - Valencia'.

Aside the mayoress, amid fireworks and the Auld Mug itself on the podium,
Michel Bonnefous (ACM CEO) announced that Valencia will be the host of the 33rd America's Cup.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

America's Cup Press Conference Due

ACM have announced their intention to stream live their 33rd America's Cup press conference from Port America, Valencia, Spain, on Wednesday 25th July 2007, at 17:30 (CET, we presume; 16:30 BST [GMT+1]).

Visit the official site here to watch the live video stream.

What's it to be? 'All is well'? 'We feel attacked'? 'No more CNEV'? We'll all have to tune in to find out!

Société Nautique de Genève respond to Supreme Court Move

America's Cup Management (ACM) have today issued a statement confirming official challengers for the 33rd America's Cup as Spain's Desafino Espaniol, South Africa's Team Shosholoza and Great Britain's TeamOrigin, contesting to face Switzerland's Alinghi in the final of the next competition.

Additionally, the statement reflects the reaction of Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) to the legal challenge being made by Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC)in the New York Supreme Court.

The statement in full:

Two more Challengers join the 33rd America’s Cup 24.07.2007

The Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) is pleased to announce that less than three weeks after Alinghi beat Emirates Team New Zealand to win the 32nd America’s Cup, two more teams have joined the Challenger of Record, Club Náutico Español de Vela, in challenging Alinghi for the 33rd America’s Cup. Last week, South Africa’s Team Shosholoza (Royal Cape Yacht Club) had its challenge accepted. On Monday, it was TEAMORIGIN (Royal Thames Yacht Club), marking a return to the America’s Cup for the United Kingdom.

Fred Meyer, Vice-Commodore of the SNG, comments: “We are delighted that these teams have challenged, they will bring much in the way of competition to the 33rd America’s Cup and will contribute to making this next event even greater than the 32nd edition.”

This good news comes off the back of a disappointing reaction from the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) represented by BMW Oracle Racing and Larry Ellison, which it has been reported in the press, is contesting the validity of the CNEV in the New York Supreme Court.

SNG’s Fred Meyer gives his reaction: “It is disappointing that the GGYC appears to be devoting its energies to disrupting and damaging the America’s Cup by attempting to secure an exclusive match for the trophy having failed to obtain the right to challenge through normal competition on two successive attempts, first in the 31st and then the 32nd America’s Cup. The GGYC is attempting to hold the event hostage to its demands for a private match race in catamarans and the SNG will never negotiate with GGYC under these circumstances and, as trustee of the Cup, will strongly defend all attempts by the GGYC to disrupt and damage the America’s Cup.”

Most surprising of all is that the GGYC expressly demands to race an exclusive match race against the Defender in 90ft catamarans on 4 July 2008. There will thus be no Challenger Selection Series, nor pre-regattas. The Swiss Yacht Club stands by the validity of the challenge from the CNEV, the Challenger of Record, in all respects and cannot consider another Challenger of Record without breaching the terms of the Deed of Gift. Accordingly, SNG rejected the GGYC’s challenge on behalf of BMW Oracle Racing and continues to hope that it will abandon its misguided action and join other challengers now entering the 33rd America’s Cup under the terms of the Protocol governing this event.

It has been widely acknowledged, including by the GGYC, that the 32nd America’s Cup was superb. By hosting and developing the event in Europe and by delivering some of the most exciting and competitive racing for a growing fan base and TV audience, the America’s Cup is now firmly established as a truly global sporting event. This GGYC action, contrary to their claims, returns the America’s Cup to litigation, adverse publicity and poor sportsmanship, precisely the same situation which marred the America’s Cup in the late 1980s.

Following the tremendous success of the first competition for the America’s Cup to be held in Europe since 1851, the Société Nautique de Genève looks forward to an even better 33rd America’s Cup involving competitive challengers from around the world and providing a bright future for the sport of yacht racing.


Coutts for BMW Oracle Racing in 33rd America's Cup

Coutts & EllisonBeing widely reported is the attendance by Russell Coutts at today's BMW Oracle Racing press conference, in which Coutts was introduced as the newly signed skipper and CEO of BMW Oracle Racing for the team's challenge for the 33rd America's Cup.

Valencia Sailing were in attendance & have further detail, including images & audio from the conference.

Inset image: Photo © Reuters

Monday, 23 July 2007

TEAMORIGIN For The 33rd America's Cup

Following on from the official announcement of Shosholoza's 33rd America's Cup challenge, TEAMORIGIN today released a statement confirming the acceptance of their application to challenge in the next America's Cup.

The TEAMORIGIN statement in full:

TEAMORIGIN Becomes An Official Challenger Of The 33rd America’s Cup

Today, Monday 23rd July 2007, the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), represented by Alinghi, received a challenge from the Royal Thames Yacht Club (RTYC), represented by TEAMORIGIN, for the 33rd America’s Cup. AC Management (ACM) has now informed the RTYC and TEAMORIGIN that its challenge has been accepted.

Following the Spanish Club Náutico Español de Vela’s challenge represented by Desafio Espanol and the South African Royal Cape Yacht Club’s challenge represented by Team Shosholoza, the Royal Thames Yacht Club’s challenge, represented by Sir Keith Mills’ TEAMORIGIN, becomes the third officially accepted challenge for the 33rd America’s Cup since Alinghi completed its successful defence of the 32nd America’s Cup on 3rd July 2007.

Sir Keith Mills commented from London, “TEAMORIGIN and the RTYC have together challenged for the America’s Cup believing that a Host City, a full regatta programme for the coming seasons and a class rule for the new boat to be used for the 33rd America’s Cup Match will shortly be announced. TEAMORIGIN further believes that several other teams will challenge in the coming weeks and months following these announcements.”

John Stork, Vice-Commodore of the RTYC, added, “The impetus and momentum created by the event organisers ACM over the course of the past four years with the 32nd America’s Cup gives the Royal Thames every confidence that the 33rd America’s Cup will be just as successful, both on and off the water.”

Mike Sanderson, Team Director of TEAMORIGIN, said, “These are exciting times for the America’s Cup competition. A new class of boat will put all challengers, old and new, on an equal footing. Other than the techniques used to design and build boats there will be little of technical value to be taken forward from the old class. The first generation of any new yacht racing class always sees many differences show up in the different concepts adapted by the various design teams. We believe it will be easier for a new team to become competitive at the America’s Cup with the introduction of a new class of boat and should deliver faster sailing and a more exciting spectacle.”

Sir Keith Mills concluded, “Our goal is to win the America’s Cup and bring the Auld Mug back to British shores for the first time in history. The challenge is therefore an important and positive step forward to achieving our objectives and we look forward to further event details being announced and other teams joining us for the 33rd America’s Cup.”

This is the 21st time that a British yacht club’s challenge for the America’s Cup will result in racing for the ultimate prize in sailing. The name TEAMORIGIN is a subtle reminder that the origins of the whole America’s Cup phenomenon can be found in a race that took place in 1851. This original race saw the yacht ‘America’ beat a fleet of British racing yachts around the Isle of Wight, the prize for which was a sterling silver wine ewer. This trophy was popularly renamed the America’s Cup as a result of that yacht’s notoriety. A Deed of Gift, first written in 1871 and updated several times since, transformed the America’s Cup into a perpetual challenge trophy open to yacht clubs from all nations. It has just been put back into competition for the 33rd time.

TEAMORIGIN will formally present its key team members at the Southampton Boat Show on Friday 14th September 2007.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Shosholoza for 33rd America's Cup

Shosholoza signs on for the 33rd America's Cup - official.

Mariantic today reported South African Sailing's revelation that Team Shosoloza had lodged a notice of entry for the 33rd America's Cup.

Although it had long been assumed that Shosholoza would be a challenger next time around, the timing - amid much confusion as to the specifics of the 33rd Cup - has come as something of a surprise.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Will The Real 33rd COR Please Make Themselves Known?

Word reaches The Afterguard courtesy of BYM Sailing & Sports News of significant developments concerning the proposed 33rd America's Cup Protocol recently released by Societe Nautique de Geneve(SNG - see here).

It is speculated that the Challenger of Record (COR), Club Nautico Espanol de Vela (CNEV), is preparing to stand down, subsequent to the challenge to the Protocol presented by Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), in which it is claimed that as COR, CNEV did not meet the requirements of the Deed Of Gift which govern the terms under which the America's Cup is defended (see here, here & here).

In terms of the sequence of events leading to the proposed nomination of COR, it is being speculated that CNEV made the first application to be COR, followed by Great Britain's Royal Thames Yacht Club (RTYC, TEAMORIGIN). Subsequently GGYC (BMW Oracle Racing) challenged the Protocol and its nominated COR, presenting their own claim to the role.

Should CNEV be proved a discredited COR (& therefore disqualified) or pre-emptively resigns, yet the remaining content of the 33rd Protocol remain uncontested, SNG will exercise their right to select the alternative COR, presumed to be RTYC - with little apparent love between SNG & GGYC, it's unlikely that SNG would willingly nominate GGYC (& couldn't hope to do so without appearing to capitulate completely). Might GGYC then dispute this outcome?

3. 3 Selection of an alternative Challenger of Record:
Upon the withdrawal or disqualification of the Challenger of Record,
SNG shall select, at its sole and exclusive discretion,
a new or an existing Challenging Competitor to be the new Challenger of Record.
If no Challenging Competitor is willing to become the new Challenger of Record,
the new Challenger of Record shall be the Challenging Competitor
who was the first in time to submit to ACM a completed Notice of Entry.

Clause 3.3 of 33rd America's Cup Protocol

Or, will GGYC continue to dispute - encouraged by the scent of the blood of a wounded adversary - the selection of the original COR regardless of any anticipated resignation - claiming the entire 33rd AC Protocol invalid, in which case they contend that they should be considered the rightful COR. In this potential outcome, SNG would find itself negotiating the terms of a revised Protocol with GGYC, & should there be no consensus, the terms would revert to reflect the original conditions of the Deeds of Gift, unchanged by any Protocol.

If this happened, there's the potential of the RTYC then presenting a challenge to the decision, possibly considering themselves the first valid challenge (after the invalid CNEV and before the GGYC's challenge), & therefore the rightful COR in the eyes of the Deed of Gift. Or they might give consideration to the fact that 8 challengers are apparently aligned with GGYC, subscribed to the belief that the GGYC are seeking to uphold the best interests of all challengers and indeed the spirit of the cup.

The GGYC today issued a second statement defining their vision for the 33rd Cup, prescribing Valencia, V5 ACC vessels and, as before, themselves as COR. Read the statement in full here.

TEAMORIGIN may feel their best bet is to diplomatically step back from the maelstrom & focus their full attention on the business of mounting the best possible challenge on the water, & at the same time win themselves favour from the rest of the challengers (of what value?).

What would be in the best interests of TEAMORIGIN? Clearly, COR status would put the team centre stage, which would be advantageous in terms of attracting publicity and sponsorship (or at least could be 'spun' so), but it also puts a very young team at the centre of what some consider a political snake pit. Go for broke and there might be derisive claims of being a COR of convenience, allowing both sides of the current argument to avoid humiliation.

We have just one final (mischievous) thought - what constitutes 'friendly'?

This Cup is donated upon the conditions that it shall be preserved as a perpetual
Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries.

Deed Of Gift of The America's Cup

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

TEAMORIGIN - GBR75's Maiden Voyage - Gallery

Saturday July 14th 2007 saw an event of great significance to Great Britain's bid to compete in the 33rd & 34th America's Cup - the maiden voyage (under TEAMORIGIN ownership) of its first vessel. The Afterguard presents a gallery of images depicting the event.

Updated 24/8/07: Images 29a, 29b, 29c.

Inset image: Photo 1 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

The Afterguard is extremely grateful to the talented photographers who have consented to us providing this spectacular gallery of images depicting the maiden voyage.

GBR75's Bow Scythes The Waters Off Port America
GBR-75 Bow
Photo 2 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 3 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 4 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Proud & Unmistakably British
Photo 5 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 6 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Bearing Down
Photo 7 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 8 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 9 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

GBR75 In All Her Glory
Photo 10 © Nico Martinez

Photo 10b © Nico Martinez

Photo 11 © Nico Martinez

Photo 11b © Nico Martinez

Photo 11c © Nico Martinez

Photo 11d © Nico Martinez

Photo 12 © HeikeSchwab.com

Photo 13 © HeikeSchwab.com

During Saturday's shakedown, GBR75 was joined by a replica of 'America'
- the first winner back in 1851 and after whom the cup is named.

Photo 14 © HeikeSchwab.com

Photo 15 © HeikeSchwab.com

Photo 16 © HeikeSchwab.com

America & GBR75
Photo 17 © HeikeSchwab.com

Photo 18 © HeikeSchwab.com

Photo 18b © Nico Martinez

Photo 18c © Nico Martinez

Photo 19 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 20 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 21 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 22 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 23 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 24 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 25 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 26 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 26b © ACM 2007/Photo:Carlo Borlenghi - courtesy of TEAMORIGIN

Photo 27 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 28 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 29 © Carlo Borlenghi/kospictures.com

Photo 29A © ACM 2007/Photo:Carlo Borlenghi - courtesy of TEAMORIGIN

Photo 29B © ACM 2007/Photo:Carlo Borlenghi - courtesy of TEAMORIGIN

Photo 29C © ACM 2007/Photo:Carlo Borlenghi - courtesy of TEAMORIGIN

GBR75 (left) from the Shore
Photo 30 © freshwater2006

We'd like once again to thank Heike Schwab, Nico Martinez, Carlo Borlenghi & the team at Kos Pictures, and of course TEAMORIGIN and Pitch PR for their kindness and assistance in bringing this collection of images together. We'd also like to acknowledge Valencia Sailing for breaking the news of GBR75's voyage and for bringing the first images to public attention.

If you know of or have other images of GBR75's maiden voyage which might contribute to this gallery, please contact The Afterguard by email at theafterguard[at]gmail[dot]com. We'll update this post, revising the date, rather than introducing new posts, so do check back.