New York judge vetoes Middle East venue for America’s Cup

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The choice of the Middle East emirate of Ras al Khaimah for the next America’s Cup has been vetoed in the latest in a barrage of law suits lodged by the challenger BMW Oracle in the New York Supreme Court.

Judge Shirley Kornreich ruled that, under the terms of the rules governing the event, drawn up in 1887, the match scheduled for February next year, must either be staged in Valencia or in the southern hemisphere.

The lawyer, Lucien Masmejean, acting for the Swiss holder of the cup, Ernesto Bertarelli, and his club, the Societe Nautique de Geneve, said he was “very disappointed” with the decision.

The San Francisco-based challenger, BMW Oracle, funded by the world’s fourth-richest man, Larry Ellison, and his club, the Golden Gate Yacht Club, is also asking the New York court to disqualify the holder, the SNG, as trustee on behalf of Bertarelli’s Alinghi team.

It accuses the Swiss of “reckless and repeated disregard in its stewardship of the America’s Cup” and asks the New York Supreme Court to remove the SNG from its position as a trustee because of a breach of its fiduciary duty and “to appoint a faithful, fit and proper substitute to oversee the next match to be sailed in 2010 starting 8 February.”

Ernesto Bertarelli’s giant Alinghi catamaran is already in the emirate developing the boat and for crew training. BMW Oracle’s much modified trimaran is back in the water in San Diego still undergoing an extensive programme of modifications.