BMW Oracle contest America's Cup venue

The America's cup challenger BMW Oracle Racing will ask a New York court to reject Ras al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates as the venue for the 33rd renewal of the cup and replace it with Valencia, Spain. They will cite "grave safety concerns" for their US-based crew because of the proximity to Iran.

The defending champion, Alinghi of Switzerland, picked the Persian Gulf port in August as the site for the best-of-three showdown between the bitter rivals for the oldest trophy in international sport. The racing is scheduled to start on 8 February.

BMW Oracle Racing, owned by the software tycoon Larry Ellison of Oracle, sent a team to inspect the proposed venue and said in a statement issued late on Thursday that it "fails on every key measure necessary for a successful America's Cup".

Ras al-Khaimah is "particularly unsuitable" because the proposed racing area is within 17 miles of islands occupied by Iran in a current territorial dispute with the United Arab Emirates, the Americans said.

"The choice of Ras al-Khaimah underscores Société Nautique de Genève's [SNG] abject failure in its responsibilities as trustee of the America's Cup," said the BMW Oracle Racing captain and chief executive, Russell Coutts. "It seems that the defender is prepared to go to any lengths to make this America's Cup a travesty."

BMW Oracle Racing claimed the Swiss cannot select a northern hemisphere port without mutual consent from them. They served Alinghi and its backing yacht club, SNG, with papers and were yesterday poised to place a motion with the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Alinghi labelled another return to the courts as a further attempt by BMW Oracle to stall the competition. "BMW Oracle's latest lawsuit is further proof of their unsportsmanlike behaviour. We will only return to the legal process to show that it is sporting character and sailing strategy that wins races, not litigation," said the Alinghi captain, Brad Butterworth. "As trustee of the America's Cup, we are convinced that Ras al-Khaimah is the perfect and legitimate venue."

Alinghi noted that top sportsmen such as Tiger Woods and Roger Federer have regularly played tournaments in the UAE. Ras al-Khaimah is on the southern end of the Persian Gulf, near the Strait of Hormuz, which separates the Arabian Peninsula from Iran. Relations between the United States and Iran are tense.

A few days after Alinghi announced their choice, Ellison questioned the safety of the port, citing its proximity to Iran. "We're all concerned about the safety of our crew and our shore crew and everyone getting set up there," Ellison said during a public presentation of BMW Oracle Racing's crew and giant trimaran in San Diego.

Valencia hosted the America's Cup in 2007, when Alinghi defeated Team New Zealand 5-2 to retain the silver trophy.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable