Ahead of today's hearing at the New York Supreme Court, the Swiss Defender has proposed to stage the 33rd America's Cup on the east coast of Australia.
Alinghi says, “This is a venue that should be acceptable to both teams if, as expressed publicly, the true intention of BMW Oracle is to race for the America's Cup on the water.
“A specific race course in the Pacific Ocean off the east coast of Australia, with weather conditions suitable for racing in February, will be announced promptly should GGYC accept this offer and cease their legal strategy. The east coast of Australia offers several locations with ideal sailing conditions for the best-of-three match. A venue in this region would be approximately two and a half weeks away by ship from BMW Oracle's base in San Diego, while Alinghi's voyage from Ras Al Khaimah would take approximately three weeks.”
Before we get too excited, it's no secret that BMW Oracle would rather sail in Valencia, where the conditions will suit their trimaran better than Alinghi 5, the giant catamaran. Had Alinghi proposed Australia more than six months before the races were due to start (on February 8, 2010) GGYC would not have been able to object. However because they are inside that deadline, consent from GGYC will need to be obtained.
Justice Shirley Kornreich of the New York Supreme Court will today hear evidence from both parties regarding five issues in dispute, including the venue. The evidence will then be considered by a panel of three experts, who will give Justice Kornreich their opinions on Saturday. She will then announce her decisions.
The expert panel is Graham McKenzie of New Zealand (nominated by Alinghi), Bryan Willis of Great Britain (nominated by GGYC) and David Tillett of Australia (chosen by the other two jurors). All three men have impeccable credentials, having served on America's Cup juries and being recognised internationally for their knowledge of the rules of sailing.