Okay, so we made that up, but given what has happened in the last couple of days, one wonders if the Swiss team hasn’t fired their sailors and hired a team of ex-millitary strategists or chess players. Here is a wrap of some of the stuff going on.
SNG/Alignhi have written to GGYC asking for another meeting to try and arrange a date by ‘mutual consent’. This is one of the phrases that the Amercian team love to use in their public statements and press releases, but increasingly only when they want Alinghi to mutually consent to their way of thinking. The SNG letter says:
At this meeting SNG asked GGYC to discuss the dates for the race. SNG explained its view that it had to comply with the express terms of the Deed of Gift. This meant the race would be held on the first permissible date under the Deed of Gift, May 3, 2010. None of GGYC‘s multiple representatives said anything in protest to SNG‘s statement that it believed the first race date set forth under the New York Court‘s Order read together with the Deed of Gift was May 3, 2010.
No one said that this date was contrary to the Order. No one said that it was inconsistent with the Deed of Gift. No one said the race needed to be held in February, 2010. GGYC‘s representatives instead chose to remain entirely silent on the race date.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Masmejan tried again to raise the race date issue with Ms. Erkelens. This was part of an effort to see if the parties could reach mutual agreement on the date of the race. The New York Court‘s Order expressly allows that:
‘Notwithstanding the above, the parties may mutually agree in writing to other dates.’ Mr. Masmejan specifically asked Ms. Erkelens whether she wanted to discuss the race date. Ms. Erkelens responded that she preferred to do it in another meeting.
There is no real reason to dispute this view of events. The date would have almost certainly have been raised in the meeting. While BMW ORACLE had said that their party had full authority to negotiate on behalf of the team principals who were sailing elsewhere, it seems that that mutual consent works well in press releases but not so well face to face. We don’t want to spend to much time on punditry or speculation but one wonders why SNG didn’t respond to the contempt of court proceedings with this information.
Meanwhile, BMW ORACLE’s bluff is being called with regard to their stated wish of a multichallenger event. The Circolo Vela Gargnano of Italy have expressed their desire to compete in a challenger series. In a letter to the Commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, the President Lorenzo Rizzardi said:
Recognizing that the Defender and current Challenger of record have expressed their willingness for a multi-challenger event, we encourage you to open a challenger selection process and to make arrangements on the dates, courses, number of trials, rules and sailing regulations, and any and all other conditions of the races.
It’s unclear whether this is a serious challenge or just a move by SNG to test BMW ORACLE’s repeated claims that they want a multichallenger event. Perhaps, for once, caught off-guard, GGYC has responded that they will not consider the challenge while there is outstanding court action.
Your move Mr….