According to The New York Times, reporting earlier today, the New York State Court of Appeals decided by a 6-0 verdict that the Spanish challenge for the America's Cup didn't meet the rules of the event. Instead, Larry Ellison's BMW Oracle team, representing the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco, is the rightful challenger for the oldest major trophy in international sport, which is held by the Swiss team Alinghi, backed by its own billionaire, Ernesto Bertarelli.
Two preliminary regattas have recently been scheduled for in Valencia, Spain (site of the 2007 America's Cup racing hosted by the Swiss), and had Alinghi won the court case, the America's Cup was to be held here again within a couple of years. Now that's up in the air. If the two sides can't agree on the class of boat to be raced, the event could be a single match between two giant multihulls, one fo which Ellison's team has already built and sea-trialed. Alternatively, BMW Oracle and Alinghi could agree to a more conventional, multi-challenger regatta. Hopefully that will be the result, but BMW Oracle's willingness to negotiate and Alinghi's willingness to give up some further control of the rules of engagement would, thus far, point to a match between multihulls. That's where I'm placing my bet.