[QODLink]
Sport
America's Cup UAE venue 'not safe'
BMW Oracle Racing cite safety fears over UAE port's proximity to Iranian territory.
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2009 11:16 GMT

Swiss America's Cup defender team Alinghi picked the UAE venue in August [EPA]
America's Cup challenger BMW Oracle Racing are requesting that a New York court reject Ras al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates as the venue for the 33rd America's Cup, citing their "grave safety concerns" for their US crew because of the proximity to Iran.

Two-time defending champions Alinghi of Switzerland picked the Persian Gulf port in August as the site for the best-of-3 showdown between the bitter rivals for the oldest trophy in international sports.

The racing is scheduled to start on February 8.

BMW Oracle Racing, owned by software tycoon Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp., sent a team to inspect the proposed venue and said in a statement that it "fails on every key measure necessary for a successful America's Cup.''

Ras al-Khaimah is "particularly unsuitable'' because the proposed racing area is within 17 miles of islands occupied by Iran in a current territorial dispute with the United Arab Emirates, the Americans said. They would like the venue replaced with Valencia, Spain.

Safety concerns

"The choice of RAK underscores SNG's abject failure in its responsibilities as Trustee of the America's Cup,'' BMW Oracle Racing skipper and CEO Russell Coutts said in the statement.

"It seems that the Defender is prepared to go to any lengths to make this America's Cup a travesty.''

BMW Oracle Racing said the Swiss cannot select a Northern Hemisphere port without mutual consent of BMW Oracle Racing.

BMW Oracle Racing served Alinghi and its backing yacht club, Societe Nautique de Geneve, with papers and plans to file a motion on Friday with the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Ras al-Khaimah, or RAK, is on the southern end of the Persian Gulf, near the Strait of Hormuz, which separates the Arabian Peninsula from Iran.

A few days after Alinghi announced the choice of RAK, Ellison questioned the safety of the port, citing its proximity to Iran.

"We're all concerned about the safety of our crew and our shore crew and everyone getting set up there,'' Ellison said during a public presentation of BMW Oracle Racing's crew and giant trimaran in San Diego.

Valencia hosted the America's Cup in 2007, when Alinghi defeated Team New Zealand 5-2 to retain the silver trophy.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Vietnam, 40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated each year, a rate that health officials are hoping to reduce.
Ivory Coast tackles internet fraud scourge, but analysts say criminals continue to outsmart authorities.
In US study, MIT scientists changed the emotions linked to specific memories in mice.
The seizure of the Tabqa airbase highlights the Islamic State's consolidation of power in eastern Syria, analysts say.
Traditional spring festival blossoms outside India through fun runs, raves and TV commercials.
join our mailing list