The America's Cup holder Alinghi has accused a yachting team funded by software executive Larry Ellison of hiring investigators to spy on them.
Papers filed in New York as a long-running legal dispute heads back to court claim Ellison's BMW-Oracle team sponsor the Golden Gate Yacht Club hired "a team of spies".
The papers say the spies were sent to break into the Geneva yacht club, which sponsors Alinghi,
to try to get photographs and information about the defenders' new boat.
BMW-Oracle and Alinghi, have been locked in a legal dispute for two years over the 33rd running of the race and are due in court again on Friday after talks broke down.
The Golden Gate club says it's a trumped up allegation and legal observation of competitors is common.