America's Cup dispute continues

With three weeks to go until two of the more amazing racing yachts ever seen line up against each other for the America's Cup, the deadline passed last night for the Swiss defender, Ernesto Bertarelli's Alinghi, to sign an agreement drawn up in Singapore to resolve the major disputes with the American challenger, Larry Ellison's BMW Oracle.

The deadline had been set by Oracle, but Alinghi had already said that it would not resume talks unless Oracle withdrew its latest petition to the New York Supreme Court, the effect of which would be make illegal the sails so far seen on the Alinghi catamaran.

The first of a best of three races is still scheduled for 8 February in Valencia, Spain.