The title may appear somewhat dry and boring but interest levels may rise when it is understood it is a case in from of America’s Cup Arbitration Panel. Not only that it is a case where the ruling has a significant effect on an AC hopeful.
As a bit of background, the Deed of Gift has always included a “constructed in country of challenge” element to it meaning any challenger for the America’s Cup has to be built in the country of the club issuing the challenge. In this case it is Long Beach YACHT Club represented by the team “Stars and Stripes”.
Like so many of these rulings it takes careful reading as much appears to be ‘legal gobbledegook’. Read it here.
However on reading carefully Stars and Stripes want to play but haven’t paid they are “in default” and they want to play with the boat lent to them. It would also appear that the initial ‘unhappiness stemmed from the Challenger of Record but Inios and ETNZ have also made dispositions to the Arbitration Panel.
Stars and Stripes argued that the Deed of Gift contains the condition of being built in the country of challenge ONLY for the actual America’s Cup Match. However the Arbitration Panel’s response is that when the Deed of Gift was written there was no likelihood of ‘other events’ leading up to the America’s Cup match that would have an influence on who was selected as The Challenger.
The Arbitration Panel ruled that the “constructed in country” applies to all events of the AC36 cycle and that they cannot use a ‘borrowed boat’ in the events running up to the America’s Cup Match.
As that is the subject of the request for a ruling then other matters such as a request for exclusion of a team shall be the subject of a separate application.
The panel also stated that t had come to their attention that the confidentiality obligation regarding this Application to the Arbitration Panel may not been observed as evidenced by comments in the media, in particular Sailing Illustrated giving quite specific details of the Application followed by New Zealand media. The Arbitration Panel considers such a breach serious (and as a thinly veiled threat I reckon) and reminds that it has “broad discretion concerning penalties it can impose should any breach be established).
So no borrowed boat to compete in. Time and money must be rapidly running out for the Stars and Stripes team. Already behind regarding payments (in default is the term used) a boat still not complete and now being told they can’t come to the party in someone else’s boat.
The Arbitration Panel did not expend time and effort attempting to establish which body broke the confidentiality conditions (listed in Item 35) but you have to ask which team is closest to Sailing Illustrated and most likely to leak this sort of thing to them. (hint: S$S).