The Alinghi sailing team, the Swiss America’s Cup champion, has confirmed that a multi-hull race against challenger Oracle should take place in May 2010, and not in February as sought by the BMW Oracle Racing team.

Alinghi Americas Cup Team

Alinghi America's Cup Team

Oracle said on Tuesday it had taken new legal action at a New York court against Alinghi over the dates for the event, which will settle the 33rd edition of yachting’s premier event. The team, owned by American software tycoon Larry Ellison, wants the court to confirm that the event will take place in early February 2010, most likely in the Spanish port of Valencia.

Alinghi, in contrast, wants the next America’s Cup to be held three months later in May 2010.

It said on Wednesday that under the Deed of Gift, the 19th-century rules governing the oldest trophy in international sport, “May is the earliest possible date for a race in the Northern Hemisphere, where both clubs (teams) are located.”

Alinghi regretted that Oracle had decided to return to the courts “instead of accepting an invitation to another meeting to discuss the terms of the 33rd America’s Cup. “They have ignored both our proposal to open the competition to other challengers and our invitation to agree to mutual consent terms.”

At a meeting last week in Geneva, the two sides failed to arrive at an agreement, especially over the possibility of holding a traditional race with several challengers on single hull yachts in 2011.

Oracle has since October been training on a giant trimaran built in the United States while Alinghi is building a multihull yacht in Switzerland which is expected to be ready over the summer.

The New York court early this month backed Oracle over Alinghi in the conclusion to a long-running legal battle over the format of the next edition of the event which has raged between the Swiss and the US sides since Alinghi won the 32nd America’s Cup in Valencia in July 2007. That ruling means that the two teams must hold a best-of-three duel involving multi-hull yachts in Valencia next February, unless they manage to overcome their dispute.

Read more:  America’s Cup Sailing out of the Courtroom

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