Progress being made in America's Cup dispute

Keeping a foot in both camps, the BMW Oracle America's Cup challenge team yesterday announced it was shipping two boats from Valencia to Auckland for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series next February, but, more importantly, progress is still being made towards resolving its legal dispute with the cup holder, Switzerland's Ernesto Bertarelli.

So far Bertarelli's Alinghi team has not accepted an invitation to join the Auckland regatta, but Team New Zealand's Grant Dalton has indicated he may be willing to remove the stumbling block, a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Bertarelli for what, in effect, amounts to a claim of non-perfomance in staging the next cup next year.

There has been an all-round softening of attitudes following a face to face meeting in San Francisco between Bertarelli and Oracle boss Larry Ellison.

They plan to repeat it in the next few days in Europe. A second meeting could be held before Ellison leaves Italy on Monday following his participation in an RC44 regatta.

The first talks included a blueprint for a whole new way of running the cup to be put in place not just for next time, America's Cup 33, but for the mid-term with up to two or three events. Both men are thought to accept there will be no return to the 2007 format.

That would include a permanent, event organising, management company with the involvement and participation not just of the defender but also the challengers. Bertarelli would retain a stake but the challengers would also have shareholdings.

In an open letter last December, Bertarelli also indicated he had accepted that the cup holder should be prepared to step back from total control and for the challengers to see some of their rights and influence restored. It would be a cross between Formula 1 and a football league with the cup holder enjoying more of the prize.

He still wishes to see the holder allowed to race in preliminary regattas, possibly including the challenger elimination series, on the grounds that, under a cost-containment rule that would allow only one new boat per team, that would be the only way to be match fit.

Formerly, the defending club would hold elimination trials of its own, but that practice was brought to an end by Team New Zealand for its first defence in 2000 and the commercial benefits of being a sole defender have also dissuaded Alinghi from inviting others to share the pie.

The Louis Vuitton regatta was welcomed by 23 interested parties as the whole America's Cup train was in the sidings of the New York law courts.

Eight teams, TNZ, K Challenge (FRA), Mascalzone Latino (ITA), BMW Oracle, Chine Team, Team French Spirit, Australia First, and Team Shosholoza (RSA) have declared.

Three more are entered but remain undeclared. Of them, two are thought to include Prada boss Patrizio Bertelli's Luna Rossa and Britain's Team Origin. There is a 12th spot now that the American boats can be added to the two boats being supplied by TNZ.

Origin boss Sir Keith Mills has had extensive talks with Bertarelli, as has Bertelli and, it is thought, a new power behind the German throne and Ignacio Sanchez-Galan from Spain's energy company Iberdrola. There is now the possibility of Sir Keith performing a bridging role by talking to Ellison with a view to bringing all the parties together for a public reconciliation. That it is needed is a pity, but painful lessons have been learned about the disastrous launch plan for the next Cup in Valencia last July.

It would also require Ellison's ceo and skipper Russell Coutts to be given an exit strategy and adviser Tom Ehman to pull the plug on the final law case due to be heard next year in the New York Court of Appeals.

For Ellison there is always the risk that it could go against him; for Bertarelli he needs to know, before the end of the year at the latest by the end of next month, that he could go ahead with planning two multi-challenger pre-regattas in 2009 - possibly in Valencia and the UK - and have enough time for a new design of 85-foot boat for an America's Cup 33 in 2010, almost certainly in Valencia.

Bertarelli has already stated that he wants a Cup by then, Dalton's (unenforceable) stipulation for dropping the case is a Cup by 2011, and Sir Keith Mills' director of sailing, Mike Sanderson, has predicted a multi-challenger America's Cup in 2010.

A delicate 10 weeks is in prospect.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
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

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London