1 Oct 2008

America's Cup terms back in hands of court

7:09 am on 1 October 2008

The terms of the next America's Cup are again in the hands of a United States court after BMW Oracle made a last-ditch effort to be named the official challenger for yachting's most coveted prize.

Both parties, meanwhile, say they hope an amicable settlement is within reach in the year-long dispute over how, when and where the prestigious race should be held.

Papers filed in the New York State Court of Appeals ask the court to reinstate BMW Oracle's Golden Gate Yacht Club as challenger of record.

They'd sued the Swiss defending champion Alinghi, claiming it had chosen an illegitimate Spanish club to be its main challenger and set rules unfairly weighted in the holders' favour.

Last November a New York judge ruled for Oracle and a subsequent ruling set up a best-of-three, head-to-head series rather than the traditional multi-boat competition to determine a challenger.

Alinghi then successfully appealed, saying it preferred a later race date, a separate challenger of record and a larger field of challengers.