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Ellison Wins A-Cup Court Challenge

Chalk up a point for Larry Ellison. The New York State Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the Golden Gate YC’s challenge for the 33rd America’s Cup is, in fact, valid – that is, GGYC, rather than the Spanish CNEV, will be the Challenger of Record. In case you’re wondering, the Dispute was abitrated in NY, rather than Geneva or elsewhere, as mandated by the original Deed of Gift.

As reported earlier this month, when negotiations over the proposed rules for the next running of the A-Cup fell apart between defender Société Nautique de Genève (SNG)/Alinghi and GGYC’s BMW Oracle, that latter filed suit in New York. If SNG does not appeal the decision, the next question will be whether the competition will take place aboard monohulls – the AC90 monohull rule is GGYC’s preference – or aboard 90-foot catamarans which might take the event to a whole new level of public interest. Stay tuned. . .

While SNG head Ernesto Bertarelli’s boast that, "It is not possible that we will lose. We have the best lawyers," now seems painfully ironic, he obviously underestimated Ellison’s winning ways in the courtroom. As we recall, a boat broker sued him for commision on his first big powerboat and lost. And we’re told a woman he was dating sued him for, among other things, not following through on his promise to buy her General Electric! Yeah, she lost too. And now this.

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