The ball has been flying back and forth across the net in the last couple of days (to lean heavily on my already overused metaphor). As you might have seen from the comments at the end of the last post, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) and Alinghi responded pretty quickly to salvoes from Oracle and the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) in an interview with their lawyer, Lucien Masmejan, posted on their own website.

Masmejan stated, amongst other things, that the GGYC had decided at a late stage in the negotiations that they now wanted to reinstate two-boat testing. Unfortunately for Lucien, this issue appears to have been on the table for a while, and GGYC promptly posted an October letter to Alinghi to make the point.

Next came an interview with Hamish Ross, Alinghi’s general counsel, on Sail-World, where he pushed the idea that Oracle kept shifting the goalposts of the negotiations. To which Tom Ehman responded that Alinghi had just issued some pretty major new rules with the Competition Regulations (also check out Tom Schnackenberg explaining them here), and Oracle had been invited by Alinghi to comment.

The latest that I’ve seen is an interview on BYM with Lucien Masmejan, but I’m sure there will be more - it won’t be deuce for long. But I suspect some of these shots are being played with plenty of spin, in an effort to deflect blame over the way this whole thing continues to unfold...

I think most people have long ago made up their minds, and this to and fro is largely a sideshow to the main event – the court decision. That’s when things will get lively again. What will Alinghi do if they lose - call Oracle's bluff and sail in the cats, restart negotiations - or appeal? And if they win, will they try to shut Oracle out of the 33rd Cup altogether?

Mark Chisnell ©