Tightening the Screws

The Sailing Instructions released Friday for America’s Cup 33 ratchet up the pressure as we hurtle toward Tuesday’s meeting in Singapore where the antagonists will (we can at least hope) resolve certain differences through the authority of the (finally) recognized international jury.

Parking wars, for example.

Because of the big wing that can’t be completely “turned off,” the BMW Oracle Racing trimaran needs a large mooring space, and it is manned overnight by crew who “sail” it around its mooring. That kind of space is available only in the commercial harbor of Valencia, far from the Darsena and Port America’s Cup. Alinghi’s SIs state that the boats will overnight in either the inner or outer Darsena.

When I, with a little too much hope, posted an entry envisioning that the outer Darsena would include the commercial harbor, I was corrected by a reader. There was no name on the note, but after checking with sources inside BMOR, I removed my earlier post in favor of what you are reading now.

Here is the comment that prompted my action:

“Alinghi tightened the screws even more. They know the BMOR trimaran will never, ever be able to go into the Darsena, inner or outer. They are trying to disqualify the boat.

“An earlier version said, ‘Boats shall be kept in their places in the Darsena Harbour of Valencia or in the outer harbour.’ Period. The ‘outer harbor’ could have been interpreted to include where the boat will be. That has now changed. Something else salient here is that Ernesto is apparently pressuring the Consortio to try to force this (un-compliable) parking rule.”

Meanwhile, it’s reasonable to believe that Ernesto Bertarelli (the Ernesto of the note above) has some of Valencia’s officials in his pocket, but with BMOR chief Larry Ellison making positive noises about future races in Valencia, would city officials be motivated (unless personally) to make AC 33 a nonevent?

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