Sailing in the Middle East Hots Up. Bertarelli On TV in the UAE.


Ernesto Bertarelli has appeared on tv in the UAE to talk about the America’s Cup and the chances of the race being held in the area. The interview coincided yesterday with an announcement from Alinghi that SNG would appeal the latest court decision overturning the choice of venue for the 33rd edition of the cup.

The statement included:

The Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), is to appeal New York Supreme Court Justice Kornreich’s decision of 30 October rejecting Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates as the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup. SNG has applied for an expedited appeal to avoid any delay to the February 2010 Deed of Gift Match.

The choice of Ras Al Khaimah was made based on the plain language of Justice Cahn’s (Kornreich’s predecessor) May 2008 Court Order that ruled the location of the 33rd America’s Cup Match to be in ‘Valencia or any other location selected by the SNG’.

While Alinghi have buried the video with Ernesto Bertarelli behind their “Alinghi Friends” signup page, the ever helpful ‘Astrid in Dubai’ has put it up on Youtube.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the region, the OC Group has launched an online brochure for the A100, including plans for several races and courses that use the waters that BMW ORACLE and GGYC allege are infested with terrorists. One of the races, the “Tour of Arabia” includes Kuwait and the UAE (though not Ras Al Khaimah) then passes through the narrow strait between the UAE and Iran.

Those watching the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix over the weekend will have seen how a lot of money can turn an desert into an oasis of sport, but it’s hard to see an American court put aside years of middle eastern prejudice and reverse the decision made last week.

The lawyers keep taking the sailor’s money and it goes on… and on… and on…