Ongoing court battle undermines British AC challenge

Sir Keith Mills, the head of TeamOrigin, the British Challengers for the Americas Cup, warned last Saturday that the syndicate was within weeks of collapse, due to the continuing court battle between Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing.

His announcement followed news that the Golden Gate Yacht Club has appealed against a New York court’s decision stripping it of the role of Challenger of Record for the next America’s Cup.

“Unless the matter is resolved in the next few weeks, the commercial reality is that the lack of viability of the America’s Cup challengers will make it very difficult to continue,” warned Mills.

On Tuesday, the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division ruled that Spain’s Club Nautico Espanol de Vela, not San Francisco’s GGYC, should be the Challenger of Record, giving it the right to
negotiate terms of the next competition with the current America’s Cup holder, Alinghi of Switzerland.

Until Tuesday’s ruling, BMW Oracle Racing and Alinghi had been preparing for a rare one-on-one showdown in giant multihulls for the oldest trophy in sports.