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Much has been said in the last few days regarding the 33rd America’s Cup being dragged back to court following GGYC/BMWOracle’s decision to appeal last week NY Appellate Division’s ruling. We have asked a few questions to Shosholoza team’s principal, Captain Salvatore Sarno (South Africa), to give his view on the matter.
6 August 2008 – Sébastien Destremau: Captain Sarno, you are the Principal of the South African Team Shosholoza. Can you tell us what was your feeling when you’ve heard the news about the Appellate division reinstating CNEV as Challenger of record last week?
Captain Sarno: I was very surprised and of course very happy. Surprised because the verdict of Judge Cahn looked logic at the time but of course Alinghi lawyers have found some others cases in the past which overcame Chan`s verdict. Happy because this means that we can start again.
SD: What were the implication of this ruling from your team stand point? And how soon would you have liked a ‘conventional’ regatta to be held?
Cpt Sarno: For Team Shosholoza the schedule announced by Alinghi would have been perfect. The America Cup had reached the pinnacle of the popularity and all of us had just to seat on the wave and..surf.
SD: Do you think BMWOracle was right in appealing this latest decision? And in your opinion are their reasons genuine or self serving?
Cpt Sarno: The question has become now a personal issue and even worst a battle between lawyers and advocates which mean an endless legal battle based on the technicality. BMW Oracle has never been genuine and has pursued only their own interests
SD: Do you foresee an out of court settlement between GGYC and SNG?
Cpt Sarno: No, I do not think this is possible knowing all the people involved.
SD: Should GGYC lose the next legal round, will you look favorable at them competing in the next America’s Cup?
Cpt Sarno: In my opinion they should be banned from all the sporting competitions and not only the sailing.
SD: You entered the 33AC under the Alinghi protocol that BMW Oracle keep criticizing. Was it so unfair as they say or just similar to previous ones? Did you subsequently participated in making it better?
Cpt Sarno: As everybody knows the 33rd first protocol had to be considered a draft as I did. Myself and my technical representative, together with the other Teams worked a lot specially to clarify rather than to change some points and I think that we succeeded in this. The last 33rd Protocol was even better than the previous one.
SD: Thank you for your time Captain Sarno