26 Dec 2009

Bitter Christmas wishes from America's Cup syndicate

3:03 pm on 26 December 2009

A day after US challenger BMW Oracle Racing questioned the legality of Alinghi's sails, the America's Cup champion defended itself against the accusations of cheating in a bitterly worded Christmas card addressed to its rival.

BMW Oracle claims Alinghi's planning to use sails built in Nevada when the America's Cup rivals meet in February, and says that violates the deed of gift governing the competition.

Alinghi, however, says its new catamaran and its sails were built in Switzerland, meaning it complies with the constructed in country requirement in the Deed of Gift.

Alinghi says it fears the claim is an attempt by BMW Oracle to avoid racing in February.

It also mocked BMW Oracle and its backing club, San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club, for their Christmas gift and their wishes for further litigation in the New Year.

Earlier this month a New York court ruled that the 33rd America's Cup must be held in the Spanish port of Valencia in February, rejecting an appeal by Alinghi which favoured the Gulf emirate of Ras al-Khaimah.

The ruling put an end to two and a half years of legal wrangling between the two teams that began after Alinghi won the last edition of yachting's premier event in Valencia in 2007.