Big fun today at home, when my second son Guilhem who have been following San Diego, 1995, Auckland 2000, Valencia 2007 America's Cup editions intensively, who is proudly wearing his BMW ORACLE Racing "family" T-shirt night and day, who until today was dreaming of becoming a winchman or mastman on an America's Cup yacht in a short future, declared after I tried to explain what was happening on the AC scene recently declares loudly and proudly : "Dad, I don't want to become a America's Cup crewmember anymore, I want to become an America's Cup lawyer, it looks much more funny !...".

I am not sure he was joking that much !...
And the real question is : What is a future of an event which is not making the young kids dream any more ?...


Seen on first page the main south of France daily newspaper saturday december 15th, this picture shot by famous local photo correspondant Fred Speich taken at the opening ceremony of the Arles Art work show when Queen of Arles Nathalie Chay officially launched her 2008 calendar. We did the photos of this calendar together earlier in 2007 and it was a wonderful experience to walk around the main Arles monuments and Provence places to shoot those lovely ladies in traditional costume. You can order the calendar from http://www.martin-raget.com/ online shop.



I love Georges F.Schuyler, I love to read his deed of gift. When you embrace the amount of sailing history that has been done with this legal document, it’s amazing.
And today, a lot of people should be reading it again and again. And again.

It is now clear Alinghi is not keen to negociate quickly. Why would they do so as they don’t want to organise the cup in 2009 ?... Everything must be negociated again, including the protocol, the venue, funding, etc... Even the contract with Valencia is null since recent NY court decision. So 2009 would certainly be a loss of money for them. No way.

Why would they care about challengers demand to organize the Cup ASAP as their previous allies ETNZ, Origin, etc. are now supporting the opposition ?
After all, in this war situation, it’s not Alinghi’s problem if those organizations which are not even official challengers are spending money every day with their design teams and booked high class sailors.

No, they don’t want to negociate because now, time is on their side.

In refusing to negociate, they oblige BMW ORACLE to advance with uncertainty as the americans have to design and build in the US a large yacht according to their “strict deed of gift” challenge. First race is due July 4th 2008, so time is running short to have a 90 ft wide multihull ready to race that day. And they don’t know the place, so they don’t know the expected wind strentgh, the wave patttern. Technically embarassing.

Now Alinghi is bound only by BMW ORACLE Challenge and Georges Shuyler deed of gift. Nothing else. If they choose to go with a strict Deed of Gift Challenge next year, They don’t have to disclose their boat, they don’t have to hurry up on anything, they just have to select the location, but nothing in the deed indicates when they have to disclose that choice.

« In case the parties cannot mutually agree upon the terms of a match, then three
races shall be sailed, and the winner of two of such races shall be entitled to the
Cup. All such races shall be on ocean courses, free from headlands, as follows:
The first race, twenty nautical miles to windward and return; the second race an
equilateral triangular race of thirty-nine nautical miles, the first side of which shall
be a beat to windward; the third race (if necessary) twenty nautical miles to
windward and return; and one week day shall intervene between the conclusion
of one race and the starting of the next race. These ocean courses shall be
practicable in all parts for vessels of twenty-two feet draught of water, and shall
be selected by the Club holding the Cup; and these races shall be sailed subject
to its rules and sailing regulations so far as the same do not conflict with the
provisions of this deed of gift, but without any times allowances whatever. The
challenged Club shall not be required to name its representative vessel until at a
time agreed upon for the start, but the vessel when named must compete in all
the races, and each of such races must be completed within seven hours.”

Nothing in the Deed says when the two opponents must negociate the details of the racing such “ The Club challenging for the Cup and the Club holding the same may, by mutual consent, make any arrangement satisfactory to both as to the dates, courses,
number of trials, rules and sailing regulations, and any and all other conditions of
the match, in which case also the ten months' notice may be waived.”

Until when can they go with that ?... Until the last minute in order to even prevent the challenger to be there in time ?...

For you and me, the obvious place for AC 33 should be Valencia where the two opponents have their bases.

But even in Valencia, you don’t design the same boat if you give the start at noon or at 3 PM, so again, no rush to negociate for Alinghi who have several fast light weather optimized 40 ft multihull in their garage ready to go as they have been built in Switzerland and can be shipped anywhere in the world very quickly !...

And anyway Alinghi can switch to the other option – accept to organize a regular America’s Cup with everybody - in few months time, so BMW ORACLE will have built its super multihull for nothing !...