28 October, 2009

Ras Al Khaimah loses America's Cup hosting

A New York State Supreme Court has overturned Ras Al Khaimah as Alinghi's choice of sailing venue, citing a ruling in the 1887 Deed of Gift which states that the race may not be held in the Northern Hemisphere between November 1st and May 1st.

Ironically, it may shift to Valencia - another Northern Hemisphere port, but one that met no objection from Alinghi or Oracle earlier in the court hearing.

More in this report


Khalood said...

"Soon after the Swiss picked Ras al-Khaimah in early August, Ellison raised concerns because the sailing would take place some 130 kilometres from Iran's coastline."

I'm guessing that Iran is the problem, and nothing wrong with RAK? O.o;;

RAK said...

what you see one this link explain what happened exactly


Steve said...

I think you have a point there. I feel sorry for RAK cause this was a major event and I think RAK really needed it for publicity.

Well, I seriously hope something else comes up...RAK is a great place and has wonderful people, they seriously didn't deserve this.

Francesca said...

It would have been fantastic for all parties involved - sailors and hosts and onlookers.

Kyle said...

That's truly a shame. We were really looking forward to this event.

Dave said...

RAK may think it is the centre of the universe but obviously others don't agree.

Khalood said...


Well, like any part or a country, people would be a little sad about it. It's just like what happened here when Chicago lost the election in hosting the upcoming Olympics. That doesn't mean that people think they are the "center" of the globe. :D

nzm said...

Khalood: re your first comment about Iran being the problem.

Even if it was, just to be clear, the decision has been made based on a ruling in the Cup's Deed of Gift which is THE rule book for the America's Cup. If you can argue in favour of a ruling in this document, you've pretty much won your case.

In this instance, it was the ruling that no Northern Hemisphere racing can take place during the winter season between Nov 1 and May 1. (That ruling, made in 1887, would have assumed that racing for the America's Cup would always happen in Summer on either the US East Coast or off the UK - never dreaming that, one day, an Australian team would win it and forever change how and where the Cup regatta is sailed!)

However, if both sailing parties are in agreement, Valencia (also in the Northern Hemisphere) will be chosen whereas BMW Oracle objected to R.A.K. - for whatever reason!

It was pretty weird that Alinghi would choose R.A.K. in the first place - for whatever reason they had.

Khalood said...


Oh I see; I never knew that results were formulated according to a book. However, you do mention Valencia, which is located in the Northern Hemisphere. How come they would consider it if both parties agree, when it doesn't bear the qualifications mentioned in the book? O.o;;

nzm said...

The America's Cup is a complicated beast and, over its history, more time has been spent in legal courts contesting the rules than has been spent actually sailing!

There are lots of rules in place determining how long an amount of time is allowed to go by before the defender (in this case Alinghi) has before it puts the cup up for contest, as well as rules about accepting challenges from other teams.

A few court cases ago, it was decided that BMW Oracle could challenge Alinghi for the Cup and the race boats would be multi-hulls. (The last time a multi-hull was sailed was when Denis Conner sailed one against a much slower J-Boat challenge by New Zealand. It was a one-sided affair which came to nothing really - except a huge amount of money spent on boats which never sailed again, and tons of money in court cases.)

The courts decide when the racing shall be done, and that's how this time (February 2010) came to be selected.

Alinghi chose R.A.K. as the venue, but BMW Oracle objected and found a ruling in the Deed of Gift to support their protest - no Northern Hemisphere racing between Nov 1 and May 1. During the court proceedings however, both parties agreed that Valencia would be an acceptable alternative.

Now, if Alinghi or Oracle formally objects to Valencia, the next step will be to find a Southern Hemisphere port (as Nov 1 - May 1 is summertime down south) in order to get the sailing completed in time. I have a hunch that this may be either Auckland (New Zealand) or Perth (Western Australia) as both cities have hosted cup regattas in the past.

There is a explanation about it here on the America's Cup site.

I would love to be a lawyer specialising in Cup Law - I think that I would have made my fortune by now!

Khalood said...


Mashalla, that was pretty conclusively inclusive. XD
However, it's a shame that RAK couldn't be bestowed that honor of hosting such event. :(

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