America's Cup

Court Rules Spanish Club Is Challenger of Record

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A New York appeals court ruled yesterday that a Spanish yacht club is the challenger of record for the next America's Cup, not a California club.

The state Supreme Court's Appellate Division ruled 3 to 2 that Club Náutico Español de Vela should be the challenger of record, giving it the right to negotiate terms of the next competition with Cup holder, Alinghi of Switzerland. The decision reversed a lower-court ruling that made the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco the challenger.

The appeals court also gave Club Náutico 10 months to prepare for the regatta, starting when it receives a copy of the appellate ruling.

Although Golden Gate Yacht Club can appeal, yesterday's ruling apparently means the next America's Cup will be contested in a traditional multi-challenger format.

Golden Gate backs BMW Oracle Racing, which is owned by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison. BMW Oracle Racing and Alinghi have been training for an expected one-on-one showdown in 90-foot multi-hull boats, the result of a lower-court ruling that GGYC was the challenger of record.

There was no immediate comment from either syndicate.

However, Desafío Español chief Augustin Zulueta told the Associated Press, "We're very hopeful that this means an end to this long process and that it will allow all of the teams to race the next America's Cup at Valencia."

-- From News Services

© 2008 The Washington Post Company