Alinghi statement on eve of crucial meeting

The America's Cup Defender, Switzerland-based Alinghi, tonight issued a statement expressing hope that outstanding issues between its team and BMW Oracle Racing will be resolved at a high-powered meeting in Geneva tomorrow (Wednesday) enabling the teams to compete in a meaningful race in the true spirit of the historic match.

Vice Commodore Fred Meyer of the SNG said: 'We at the SNG are very much looking forward to this meeting to break the deadlock and to help guarantee a successful event and produce a competitive regatta.

'The most crucial point for our discussion is the date. When we have a realistic date we can start proceedings to secure a location and set the stage for the regatta.

'As we have made clear we are not in a position to race this year because we always understood that tolling would take place during the legal proceedings. Furthermore we have not started construction of our boat and will not be ready to compete this year.

'We are surprised as to why Larry Ellison, who considers himself a competitive sailor, would wish to take part in a second rate race or win by legal manoeuvres.

'We have been inundated with calls and letters from sailing fans all over the world who want to see a swift end to the legal processes and a return to competing on the water. I am sure that's what both teams want too.'

The meeting, due to take place in Geneva, will be between Alinghi's chief legal adviser, Lucien Masmejan, Vice Commodore Fred Meyer of the SNG and Russell Coutts and Tom Ehman from BMW Oracle Racing.

www.alinghi.com