America's Cup talks inconclusive but continuing

Ernesto Bertarelli - Team Alinghi and Larry Ellison - BMW Oracle Racing
ACM 2007/Carlo Borlenghi

The first face to face discussion between BMW Oracle Racing's Larry Ellison and Team Alingi principal, Ernesto Bertarelli has broken up in San Francisco without any conclusion being reached.

Sail-World spoke to BMW Oracle's Racing's Head of External Affairs, Tom Ehman, in New York, who advised that the talks had been cordial, but no agreement had been reached.

'We hope to continue the discussion', said Ehman. However no date has been set for a second meeting.

The original offer made by Larry Ellison, to drop the legal action in return for a multi-challenger event under the 32nd America's Cup Protocol was restated in the meeting, but apparently not accepted immediately by Ernesto Bertarelli.

The international Herald Tribune reports that:

'The meeting was 'positive,' according to a statement released by Alinghi.

'Both sides share the same passion for the sport of sailing and for the America's Cup. Mr. Bertarelli and Mr. Ellison are committed to getting the America's Cup back on the water and creating a stronger event moving forward,' the statement said. 'While no definitive agreements were reached today, Alinghi will continue to hold meetings in the immediate future with BMW Oracle Racing and with other Challengers.'

Meanwhile, BMW Oracle will file papers in the New York Court of Appeal on Monday 29 September, in their response to the previous decision of the Appellate Division, to meet the filing deadline set by the Appeal Court.

BMW Oracle Racing 90 is unloaded in San Diego while talks were held elsewhere to resolve the America’s Cup impasse

Writing in The Independent (UK), Stuart Alexander commented:

'The paralysis which has gripped the America's Cup for over a year seemed to be relaxing over the weekend after a one-to-one summit between the Swiss holder, Ernesto Bertarelli, and the man challenging him in the courts over the structure of the next event, the American Larry Ellison.

'The two billionaires met in San Francisco on Saturday for something over an hour in 'a private environment', but there were different interpretations afterwards, Bertarelli's Alinghi syndicate saying it was 'positive', Ellison's BMW Oracle that it was 'cordial'.

'n New York, one of Ellison's senior advisers, Tom Ehman, was putting the finishing touches to a lengthy deposition to be lodged today (Monday) with the New York Court of Appeals.

'Alinghi has to reply by mid-November, but BMW Oracle can pull the plug at any time of its choosing. As Bertarelli flew back to Europe and St. Tropez to race on the 66-foot Numbers, with an near all-Alinghi team and his winning skipper Brad Butterworth alongside, a short statement from Alinghi also said that both Bertarelli and Ellison shared a passion for the cup, wanted to see it back on the water and to see 'an evolution of the event.' Neither side could say whether this meant that Ellison's previous demands had been dropped that the format for the cup should return to that in place for the 2007 event in Valencia. '

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