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Scuttlebutt Poll:
America's Cup Deed of Gift construction requirements

(May 5-7, 2008) In the May Issue of Seahorse Magazine, columnist Paul Cayard provided his latest theory regarding the America’s Cup, and it has to do with an interpretation of the Deed of Gift that might become the next fodder for the New York legal system. The crux of his position focuses on whether the complete boat must be constructed within the country being represented, or just the hull.

Modern America’s Cup rules have required that hulls be built in the country of their club, with masts, sails, hardware, etc. able to come from elsewhere. Cayard believes that since the 34th America’s Cup match between the Swiss Alinghi team and the American BMW Oracle Racing team will be following the strict terms of the Deed of Gift, that everything -- winches, cordage, instruments -- will need to come from their respective countries. Here is how the DoG reads:

“Any organized yacht Club of a foreign country… shall always be entitled to the right of sailing a match for this Cup with a yacht or vessel propelled by sails only and constructed in the country to which the challenging Club belongs, against any one yacht or vessel constructed in the country of the Club holding the Cup. “

We suspect this is a non-issue for the Americans, but can the same be said for the Swiss? When asked for their interpretation, the American team agreed with Cayard, while the Swiss team declined to comment. We were wondering what the 'buttheads thought, so we asked the question:

Do you believe the Deed of Gift requires the entire boat to be constructed in the country of the club being represented, or just the hull?

  • Entire boat - 30.47%

  • Just the hull - 69.53%

  • Note: We have learned that the Swiss club, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), initiated an email campaign to effect the results of this poll. After the first twenty-four hours that the poll was open, the results were approximately 60-40 in favor of the complete boat needing to be constructed within the country being represented. However, during the final twenty-four hours of the poll, SNG distributed an email to its membership and they voted in force... and in favor of only the hull needing to come from the club's country. We suggest, therefore, that these poll results be disregarded due to the tampering by SNG. Here is their email.

    *Information on Seahorse magazine:

    Scuttlebutt Sailing Club

    GMT Composites

    Team McLube

    Lemon & Line

    Newport Shipyard

    Kaenon Polarized

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