Demand made for retraction of America’s Cup row claims

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A formal demand for a retraction of claims that it was the American challenger for the America’s Cup that withdrew an offer to settle the dispute with the defender, Switzerland’s Alinghi, was made last night by the Golden Gate Yacht Club’s commodore Marcus Young.

By-passing the day to day representative of Societe Nautique de Geneve, vice-commodore Fred Meyer, the BMW Oracle representative club wrote to his opposite number, commodore Pierre-Yves Firmenich, saying: “I am formally asking your yacht club to retract immediately the comments made by representatives of your America’s Cup defender, Alinghi.

“My yacht club...and our partners are owed an unreserved apology for the falsehoods set out by [Alinghi skipper] Brad Butterworth about the attempts to negotiate a mutual agreement in Singapore.

“Our side did not withdraw the attempt to settle. The opposite was true.” But Oracle was also willing to add: “Notwithstanding the false statements, GGYC remains committed to resuming talks.”

This despite lodging a further petition in the New York Supreme Court, a move blamed by Alinghi for the breakdown in a meeting which had seen Oracle offer to drop all its litigation over the validity of Alinghi’s giant catamaran but supporting a delay in the start of the regatta from 8 February to 8 March.

In Valencia, Alinghi took its catamaran sailing for the first time since arriving from the training base in the United Arab Emirate of Ras al Khaimah, where it had also hoped to stage America’s Cup 33. Oracle continues to prepare, in the nearby commercial harbour, it 90-foot, wing-masted trimaran, USA.