Teams Agree Rules That Ehman Calls Unfair

BMW Oracle’s spokesperson and all round back room wheeler dealer, Tom Ehman, has released a statement for his loyal supporters bemoaning the American team’s exclusion from the discussions about the 33rd edition of the cup. Opinion in the blogosphere was mixed and divided down party lines, but the American team’s choice of arguments were neutralised to a degree by the outcome of the second meeting amongst those teams who have officially entered and don’t have pending law suits against the defender. 

Ehman Objection: “None of the Challengers, except CNEV, has any vote on any matter. Moreover, CNEV is specifically exempted from acting on behalf of the other Challengers.” 

Meeting outcome: 10 of the 12 entered challengers present at the meeting, along with the Defender Alinghi, expressed a unanimous will to work together constructively towards a class rule and regulations that satisfy all entered competitors. 

Ehman Objection: “The Defender, through ACM, selects all race officials and umpires.”

Meeting Outcome: 

  • The Arbitration Panel be expanded to five members, with the two additional members being appointed by all the entered competitors through a democratic process 
  • The Race Committee has been agreed by all the entered competitors 
  • Other America’s Cup Race Officials, the Technical Director and Umpires will be selected following a similar process amongst ISAF officials.
Ehman Objection: “The Defender, through ACM (the management company controlled by Ernesto Bertarelli), can change any of the rules at any time and can impose any new rule or restriction on the competitors. They only need the agreement of CNEV, the Defender’s compliant Challenger of Record.”
Meeting Implication: That 10 teams can agree on rules that ACM will then change them. While Ehman might argue that these 10 teams are under Bertarelli’s spell and he will turn on them later in the process, the teams are showing that they don’t have the mistrust and paranoia that the litigious Americans harbour. 
In a slight nod to the progress happening without him Ehman finishes with “While it is unfortunate that we won’t be part of the process, we are hopeful that the other Challengers can still achieve the goal of establishing fair rules with the Defender. If the Challengers can get Alinghi to fix the rules this would be a fantastic result and we can all move on.”