Monday, July 23, 2007

Law and Sailing: The America's Cup

Litigation about sailing! What fun!

The Golden Gate Yacht Club (BMW Oracle Racing/Larry Ellison) sued Society Nautique de Geneve (Alinghi/Ernesto Bertarelli) on Friday in the New York Supreme Court.

In summary, the complaint alleges "that SNG has accepted a challenge that is invalid under the Deed of Gift from Club Nautico Espanol de Vela ("CNEV"), a brand new yacht club that had never had an annual regatta before it was specifically created to collaborate with SNG. Indeed, after its supposed challenge for the America's Cup it sponsored a sham annual regatta for children in a sailing training session. SNG used CNEV, as a fabricated challenger, to engineer a match Protocol in which virtually all challenger rights are eliminated and total control of the event and its rules are granted to SNG, altering the very nature of the competition and giving unprecedented and unfair advantages to SNG."

Both parties (Ellison and Bertarelli) have money to burn, so this might go on for a while before the parties settle. If this thing does go to trial, I think I might have to go down to New York to watch. The partner who filed this case, James V. Kearney at Latham and Watkins in New York, has previously represented tobacco companies...and won, so Bertarelli has a fight on his hands if he wants it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Is this a regatta?

Looks like a regatta to me, but then I am a dinghy sailor not a fancy big boat sailor.

Perhaps a better question is whether this is an "annual regatta" sufficient to allow CNEV (Club Nautico EspaƱol de Vela) to continue as the Challenger of Record for the 33rd America's Cup? I think it is important to ask whether the regatta can be "annual" if it has only been held once.

Monday, July 16, 2007


When I give my daughter her bath, she always wants her ducky. If she saw this thing she'd go nuts:

It's an art installation in France on the Loire River. It's 26 x 20 x 32 meters (which is BIG for you non-metric folks) and is made of rubber coated PVC.