The board of the America's Cup Organizing Committee voted unanimously Saturday to recommend the San Diego Yacht Club appeal a court decision disqualifying the club's catamaran defender and awarding the trophy to the defeated New Zealand challenger.
The recommendation of the 11-member committee board will be forwarded to the SDYC's board of directors for consideration.The nine-member SDYC board is expected to meet by Monday to make its decision on whether to proceed with an appeal, said Malin Burnham, president of the yacht club's America's Cup Organizing Committee.
Last Tuesday, New York State Supreme Court Justice Carmen Ciparick ruled in favor of New Zealand challenger Michael Fay, who sought forfeiture on grounds SDYC's unprecedented catamaran defense was illegal.
"Her decision is inconsistent with her prior decisions on this case, certainly unclear and very unfair, especially when it comes to the penalty assessed," Burnham said.
"We strongly believe that a court of law anywhere in the world should not have the power to reverse the outcome of a sporting event, whether it be the World Series, the Super Bowl, a boxing match or the America's Cup," Burnham said.
Dennis Conner skippered the yacht club's 60-foot catamaran to an easy sweep of Fay's 133-foot single-hulled sloop in the best of three race series off San Diego last September.
Ciparick ruled use of the dual-hulled catamaran created a gross mismatch and violated the spirit of the Deed of Gift, the document governing Cup competition, which has been going on for 138 years.
The ruling was one of several in the case which arose from Fay's unwelcome challenge lodged in July 1987 in boats about twice the size of the 12-meter yachts used in Cup competition for the past 30 years.