Thursday, May 14, 2009

DOGZilla Will Race in February of 2010

A New York judge on Thursday ordered America's Cup champion Alinghi of Switzerland to face American challenger BMW Oracle Racing in a rare one-on-one showdown in February.

 Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich of the Supreme Court of the State of New York also ruled that BMW Oracle Racing needed to promptly submit a measurement certificate for its 90-foot trimaran.

 Kornreich strongly urged the bitter rivals to go mediation to finalize the dates and other issues surrounding the best-of-3 series in giant multihulled boats, which can sail 2 to 2 1/2 times the speed of the wind.

The Swiss had proposed to face the Americans in May 2010. The Americans said Alinghi was stalling in order to complete its boat, which reportedly is a 110-foot catamaran. 

Kornreich didn't hold Alinghi in contempt of court, as the Americans had asked. She didn't disqualify BMW Oracle Racing as Challenger of Record, as the Swiss wanted, but ordered the Americans to stick to the boat dimensions they provided when they issued their challenge, or be disqualified. 

The race will be in Valencia, Spain, or another port picked by the Swiss. 

Both sides claimed victory. 

"Today's hearing should end any further delay to the 33rd America's Cup and we can now look forward to some exciting racing in state-of-the-art boats early next year," BMW Oracle Racing spokesman Tom Ehman said in a statement. 

"We had a really good day today," said lawyer Barry Ostrager, who represents Alinghi and its supporting yacht club, Societe Nautique de Geneve. 

In early April, following a twisting path through two lower courts, New York's top court unanimously ruled that the Golden Gate Yacht Club, which backs BMW Oracle Racing, was the rightful Challenger of Record. The Americans and Swiss haven't been able to agree to rules for a traditional, multichallenger America's Cup, and therefore will face off against each other.

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