Tom Ehman’s Response to Release of the ‘Secret’ Agreement.


Golden Gate Yacht Club’s spokesman Tom Ehman has released an official statement following a version of the ISAF/SNG agreement being made public in recent days.

Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) re-asserts its reasonable request that the 33rd America’s Cup be sailed under the undoctored International Sailing Federation (ISAF) rules and not some hybrid version which the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) has tailored for its own benefit under the scope granted to it in the secret agreement struck with ISAF.

This agreement is now public, as GGYC requested. Some of the terms of the agreement have been altered but there is still a long way to go before the 33rd America’s Cup can be considered a legitimate competition for both defender and challenger.

SNG is clearly bound by the Deed of Gift to sail under ISAF rules because they are the rules of the defending club.  To achieve a competitive and legitimate 33rd America’s Cup, we need to ensure, among other concerns, that:

  • SNG can only amend its normal racing rules with the mutual consent of GGYC, per the Deed of Gift;
  • SNG does not have a veto power over the appointment of the jury;
  • The normal ISAF redress procedures are in effect, with the jury freely able to interpret or amend the rules as it sees fit;
  • SNG is not permitted to obtain confidential interpretations from the officials that are not also available to GGYC; and
  • The text of the agreement itself is formally and officially revised, not purported to be amended via press releases and side letters.

GGYC will continue to work to ensure a set of rules that are fair to both competing teams.  We appreciate the strong showing of support from the international sailing community and media for our court motion to compel public disclosure of the agreement between SNG and ISAF, which had been executed in secret.

We remain excited about racing for the 33rd America’s Cup in February 2010 provided that we are treated like any other competitor in any other regatta in the world – able to compete under ISAF’s rules and regulations.