In the ultimate game of snakes and ladders that is the path to the 33rd edition of the America’s Cup, yesterday was a day where both teams avoided landing on the python that has more often than not sent one or both of them back to the start of the board.
It seems that the ‘shock and awe’ legal tactics of GGYC have finally worn the defender down and SNG have finally agreed to Valencia as the venue for the DOG Match to take place in February. That is not to say that mutual consent has been achieved. There is a sense that the Swiss have been forced to choose BMW ORACLE’s preferred site under legal duress after the Americans refused to the other option dictated by the Deed of Gift in the southern hemisphere. It is understood that the Swiss Defender proposed two alternative Southern Hemisphere venues: Proserpine/Airlie Beach and Townsville in Australia, where the weather conditions would have been more suited to the Alinghi boat in February.
Alinghi skipper, Brad Butterworth, who participated in the discussions in New York, expressed his disappointment at the outcome:
“We went into the talks in good faith, ready to make concessions in order to guarantee the return of the Cup to the water for a February duel between two state of the art multihulls, but sadly once again BMW Oracle were in power grab mode. This time their priority was to delay the race because they are not ready. Originally they pushed for February when it was to their advantage; now they have to live with their choice of date. I think I speak for the community when I say we want the Cup sorted out as soon as possible on the water.”
BMW ORACLE are quite busy at the moment, stretched between the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Nice and unveiling a new wing-mast in San-Diego. Their statement started the same way as every other press release good or bad – seems GGYC have only one emotion – no matter what happens they are always pleased:
We’re very pleased to see that Société Nautique de Geneve/Alinghi have finally agreed with us that Valencia in February is the correct venue to hold the 33rd America’s Cup. Presumably SNG will now drop their appeal of the Court’s decision that Ras Al Khaimah is an illegal venue.
Meanwhile, in San Diego, BMW ORACLE were embarking on a very impressive display of engineering. No matter what you think of the individuals involved in the political posturing, those involved in the design and build of the massive combative boats are relishing the arms race nature of the 33rd edition of the America’s Cup. These people are not pushing the envelope – these people never saw the envelope. While the monohull sailors bob around off the coast of Nice hoping that someone’s watching, James Spithill and the crew in San Diego are drawing live TV coverage from American networks.
Core Builders at least have a sense of humour which has been missing from the GGYC / BMW ORACLE external communications – as shown by this video.
For the anoraks, here is some footage of the engineering feat that is the wing-mast.