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America’s Cup Talks Stalled

Just when you thought it was safe to buy your ticket to Valencia, negotiations between America’s Cup Defender Société Nautique de Genève (SNG)/Alinghi and GGYC’s BMW Oracle have come to a screeching halt. If you’ll recall, GGYC objected to SNG’s proposed rules for the 33rd running of the world’s most famous yachting event, claiming they favored the Swiss team. GGYC quickly filed a lawsuit which a New York court is reviewing.

Meanwhile, both teams had, with the encouragement and assistance of other competitors, been working toward a compromise that SNG could live with and GGYC felt was fair. Both sides claim they were very close to a final agreement then, in a surprising twist, SNG apparently decided they’d had enough. They sent GGYC a letter yesterday demanding they drop the lawsuit and enter the race by this Friday at 5 p.m. EST. GGYC shot back a letter claiming that SNG clearly didn’t want the race to start in 2009 as GGYC had no intention of dropping the lawsuit until all points of contention had been resolved — something they still believe is feasible.

"Today negotiators for GGYC and the Defender had verbally agreed to most points needed for a resolution, only for Alinghi to call back and say the deal was off," reported GGYC’s Tom Ehman. SNG countered with "Alinghi has lost confidence in BMW Oracle having any intention of negotiating a settlement in good faith."

Regardless of how the New York court rules, it’s almost certain that the ‘loser’ will appeal the decision causing a delay to the event’s start. Unless a mutual agreement can be hammered out, you might want to hold off on buying that ticket to Valencia.

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