A fast track appeal to reverse the veto of Ras al Khaimah as the venue for the next America's Cup has been lodged by the Swiss holder of what is supposed to be one of sailing's pinnacle prizes.
The Swiss holder, Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi team, has asked the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court to uphold an earlier ruling that it had freedom of choice for the staging of the event next February against the American challenger BMW Oracle, backed by San Francisco software billionaire Larry Ellison.
The move, which should be resolved by mid-December, does not affect a hearing of the New York Supreme Court before Justice Shirley Kornreich now delayed until Friday.
A panel of three wise men, including Alinghi's nominee, Kiwi Graham McKenzie, and Oracle's Bryan Willis of Britain plus a third agreed by the two who is the Australian David Tillett, will be asked to resolve five points which Justice Kornreich has indentified.
The expectation had been that, after Ras al Khaimah had been ruled out by Kornreich, Valencia would be the venue for the best of three old style 40-mile races, starting on 8 February, with Alinghi's giant catamaran squaring up against the Oracle trimaran
Alinghi insists that it is also still seeking to find a southern hemisphere venue to comply with rules drawn up in an 1887 trust deed. But any rumours that this could be New Zealand were contemptuously dismissed by a senior member of the Swiss syndicate saying: "Auckland is the only place in the southern hemisphere we would never go."
The French are back in the Volvo Ocean Race with the Groupama team, skippered by Franck Cammas, announcing they will take part in both the 2011-12 and the 2014-15 races. Better known recently for multihull sailing – with a giant trimaran and an Extreme 40- the team has bought the winning boat from the last race, the Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed Ericsson 4.