In a further twist to the “who cares” saga of the 33rd America's Cup Match, Société Nautique de Genève's legal counsel has written to Justice Kornreich, who is presiding over the billionaire's squabble, alleging that the Golden Gate Yacht Club provided misleading information to the Court.
Through the Freedom of Information Act, SNG obtained documents submitted by GGYC to the US Coast Guard to obtain a Certificate of Documentation for their 90ft trimaran. They discovered that GGYC had asked for priority treatment as it wanted to ship its boat to the United Arab Emirates on 25 September. According to SNG, this representation was made with the understanding that “a false statement when applying for vessel documentation may subject the vessel to seizure by and forfeiture to the United States Government”. SNG goes on to say that only 13 days after representing to the US Coast Guard that it would immediately ship its boat to the UAR, “GGYC oddly elected to file a motion with this Court seeking to have the venue declared invalid”.
SNG says it appears that contrary to its representation, GGYC didn't send its vessel to Ras Al Khaimah at the end of September and may never have intended to. They contend that if the press reports are correct, GGYC may have made false statements to the Coast Guard, therefore subjecting its challenging vessel to seizure.
It has also been revealed that the Challenger withheld information at the 10 August hearing concerning their COD; the GGYC had obtained a tonnage certificate nearly two months prior to the hearing and didn't disclose its existence to Justice Kornreich or the SNG in court, SNG's lawyers say. “SNG submits that GGYC's failure to disclose its possession of a tonnage certificate prevented the Court and SNG from being fully informed of the relevant issues and wasted valuable Court resources.”
Justice Kornreich has already described GGYC's behavious as “unsportsmanlike” and these latest revelations won't do anything to endear them to her.
It would appear that the venue dispute will now go in favour of Ras Al Khaimah, but as February looms all the other nonsense will need to be cleared up quickly. This looks like another Cup farce destined to be decided in the courts regardless of any outcome on the water.
– Roger McMillan