As the legal dispute raging between
Alinghi and Oracle, the challengers seek to navigate
increasingly murky waters.
"Grant Dalton, the Emirates Team New Zealand managing
director, has allegedly told his team that if the
dispute is not resolved by the end of the year and
the final race is not held in 2009, his team will
close", Britain's The Times has reported.
The problem is, nobody is any clearer as to when
the 33rd America's Cup will take place; the original
date of 2009 looks dead in the water, but with court-case
judgments pending and appeals likely, the future
of the challengers is at stake.
Things are not quite so apocalyptic at Britain's
Origin, begun and led by Keith Mills, but operations
seem likely to be scaled back or mothballed, and,
if there are no guarantees that the cup will take
place in 2010, the team may break up.
"It is not about when it is, it is more about knowing
for certain what the date will be," Origin communications
manager Marcus Hutchinson said. "We're a few weeks
away from a decision like that. If we knew it was
going to be in 2010, then we can change the plan,
but if nobody is sure and it might be 2011 or 2012.
The uncertainty is a big problem."
The seven challengers are now hoping for a judgment
from Justice Herman Cahn of the New York state court
(which has jurisdiction over the America's Cup)