Put Up or Shut Up
The recent flurry of America’s Cup open letters, interviews and press releases spurred Russell Coutts to fire off one of his own in response to the letter sent yesterday by Ayre Challenge. Coutts writes that BMW/Oracle would be “willing to enter the competition by 15 December even though it is a totally arbitrary deadline,” though the team would require “clarity on fundamental issues to meet our concerns…about fair and competitive rules.” Coutts calls for Ayres CEO Pedro Pedrellò to “arrange to have the Defender send us by Monday 8 December the current drafts of the protocol, event regulations, and competition regulations” so Oracle can review them against their Ten Point Plan before the entry deadline.
Is Coutts signaling a new willingness from GGYC to resolve this dispute? Unlikely. The letter goes on to explain that if BMW/Oracle doesn’t receive the documents as requested, or if their review shows that the important objections haven’t been addressed, that the American team will “cease our 17-month effort to resolve this dispute with the Defender” and rely on the NY Courts to decide the matter.
We have rarely seen such clear language during this process, and Coutts’ ultimatum places the ball firmly in Alinghi’s court.