29 Dec 2009

Oracle accuse Alinghi of breaking America's Cup event rules

11:43 am on 29 December 2009

The America's Cup challenger Oracle has reaffirmed today the boat which Swiss holders Alinghi plans to use in their multihull duel slated for February does not meet the event's nationality rules.

The US syndicate says it intends to meet with the Swiss syndicate as soon as possible in an attempt to remove the question mark hanging over the legality of Alinghi's yacht.

Last week, Oracle accused Alinghi of using sails in its boats which were made in the US state of Nevada in contradiction to the rules for the yacht race, which specifies that participating vessels must be constructed in the country where the sailing club which they represent is located.

Alinghi has said Oracle's accusations are simply false as its boat was built in Switzerland and so are its sails.

But in its statement on Monday, Oracle said that Nevada is the only place in the world where the North Sails Group makes the type of sails employed by Alinghi's boat.

It is prepared to give Alinghi reasonable time to manufacture sails in Switzerland and take other remedial measures during its upcoming meeting with its rival.

The face-off between the two sides had been slated to start in the Spanish port of Valencia on February 8th.

Alinghi and Oracle have been arguing over the rules of the America's Cup in court since Alinghi won the most recent edition of the yacht race, often referred to as sailing's Formula One, in Valencia in 2007.

The Supreme Court of the State of New York earlier this month ruled that the 33rd America's Cup must be held in Valencia in February, rejecting an appeal by Alinghi which favoured the Gulf emirate of Ras al-Khaimah.