America's Cup remains in limbo

The date and venue of the next America's Cup remained in limbo yesterday after Judge Herman Cahn of the New York Supreme Court said he would take further time to consider his ruling. He was responding to a renewed claim by Ernesto Bertarelli's Swiss defender Alinghi that it would not be ready to race this year.

The judge appeared to have ruled out a July defence against Larry Ellison's San Francisco-based BMW Oracle, which is now the sole challenger. But he could order a match in October, 10 months after the court cases at the end of November last year. Or he could start the 10-month notice clock on the date of either his judgment, expected in about 10 to 14 days or his last judgment last month.

This could mean January next year but that would imply an event in the Southern Hemisphere. A Northern Hemisphere match, under the terms of the 1887 Deed of Gift, which the judge must apply, can only be held from 1 May to 31 October.

Judge Cahn added that it was not the business of the court to rule on matters of fairness. The Alinghi lawyers are considering "all options" which could mean recourse to the Appellate Division even before Judge Cahn hands down any new ruling.

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