The New York Yacht Club, arguably the organisation with the most claim to rights over the Americas Cup, has weighed into the current mess by submitting an amicus curiae brief to the Court of Appeals State of New York, and accompanying letter to members.
The club, which held the cup from 1851 to 1983, has no current entry, but is heavily involved in matters to do with the cup.
The letter to members reads in part:
The NYYC has been working for more than a year through its America’s Cup Committee, chaired by George Carmany, to help settle a dispute involving participants in the 33rd America’s Cup, specifically the Golden Gate Yacht Club, the Société Nautique de Genève and the Club Nautico Espanol de Vela. Despite our best efforts, we have been unsuccessful in this regard. Feeling an ongoing responsibility to the donor (NYYC-member George Schuyler) as well as the traditions and history of the America’s Cup – and the traditions and history of this club – we believe it is time in the legal process to make our voice heard.
The America’s Cup Committee has voted to present an amicus-curiae (friend of the court) brief to the Court of Appeals State of New York that is considering the matter. As Commodore I agree with this course of action and have discussed it with all former Commodores, the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees who likewise have approved this approach. Thus a brief, written by Vincent Monte-Sano, the general counsel of the NYYC and member of its America’s Cup Committee, will be filed before the end of this year.
The NYYC has no personal interest or stake in the outcome of the litigation. Our interest stems solely from the long involvement with the America’s Cup and a desire to have the competition remain faithful to the Deed of Gift, as drafted by George Schulyer, and for the Cup Match and the Challenger-Selection Series to be a fair and even-handed competition.
The brief itself maked very interesting reading. Leaving aside the objections to CNEV as a legitimate Challenger of Record, which have been, and will be debated over and over again, there is an insight into a process to change the way the Cup is managed, sponsorship and other items.
It seems then, that despite several knowlegable and trusted parties trying to get the teams to agree a way forward – they are unwilling to compromise. As Sir Keith Mills said recently “If they wanted to find a way, they could, but they don’t want to.”
Certainly the brief from the NYYC should carry enormous weight. It would be hard to find an organisation with more corporate memory or knowlege of the Deed of Gift. One has to think that both BMW ORACLE and Alinghi are insulting people like George Schuyler by not being able to come to a resolution by mutual consent.