North Carolina Sailing Group Sues America’s Cup Holder

Byline: Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A nonprofit sailing group from North Carolina is suing the San Francisco-based America’s Cup holder Golden Gate Yacht Club for denying its application to be a Defense candidate.

African Diaspora Maritime Corp. asked the Supreme Court of the state of New York to force Golden Gate YC to accept its application, hold a Defender series, provide the group with at least two 45-foot catamarans to sail and pay in excess of $1 million in damages. The group also wants Golden Gate YC removed as America’s Cup trustee.

The suit comes less than two years after one of the bitterest chapters in America’s Cup history ended when Oracle Racing, the sailing team that represents Golden Gate YC, swept Alinghi of Switzerland in two races off Valencia, Spain. That regatta followed a long, convoluted court fight between two billionaire syndicate owners.

Oracle Racing is owned by Silicon Valley billionaire Larry Ellison, head of Oracle Corp.

Golden Gate YC said it was served with the lawsuit Dec. 13.

“We believe the lawsuit is utterly without merit and that Golden Gate Yacht Club will prevail,” Vice Commodore Tom Ehman said in a statement. “You only have to read the last paragraph of the complaint to realize what this is really about.”

Ehman said African Diaspora Maritime’s application “was late, lacking and lamentable.”

The group said it was unable to raise money after its application was rejected.

In the suit, African Diaspora Maritime accused Golden Gate YC of self-dealing in negotiating real estate deals, and then not sharing revenue with other America’s Cup participants.

— Bernie Wilson

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