"WE HOPE WE ARE VERY CLOSE TO A SETTLEMENT "

Ever since the America's Cup dispute started, shortly after Alinghi's successful defence, BYM News has tried hard to obtain an interview with someone who could give the BMW Oracle side of the story.
Everyone at BYM News was, therefore, delighted when BMW Oracle spokesman, Bernard Schopfer, telephoned Marian Martin this evening to clarify the latest press release.
We found your recently issued press release somewhat puzzling. Last Friday, you sent out a press release saying you would “agree to comprehensive new compromises to get the America’s Cup back on track for Valencia, in 2009, if the defender will disclose its rule for the boats’ design.”
That made many people think it was almost settled; certainly, Jochen Schuman did. When I spoke to him last week, to ask him how he saw the present situation, he said “I think the rule gets published on October 31 and that’s it, then they will settle.”
Now it doesn’t seem like that is the case.

Bernard Schopfer: I think it’s a good step forward that they published the rule, all we need now is to be sure that the rule is a real change and fair to everyone.

Juan K, Patrick Shaughnessy, Jason Ker and Alex Simonis have all been involved in developing the new rule, don’t you think they are capable of deciding that?

Bernard Schopfer: I can’t comment on what other people think. We really need to satisfy ourselves that the rule is a real evolution from the one in the beginning.

Coming back to that GGYC press release last week, as I said many people believed it was a straightforward case of “Alinghi publishes the rule, BMW Oracle agrees to compromise and enters, without adding more conditions.” We noted, however, that, in his interview with Tom Ehman, PJ Montgomery put that question four times and Tom evaded it each time.
Are you able to give a straightforward “Yes” or “No” answer to the question “If you are satisfied with the new rule, will you then drop the court case and enter?”

Bernard Schopfer It isn’t that simple. We think the publication of the rule is a good starting point that puts us on the right track. We still have to address the other issues with the Protocol that we’ve been talking about with other challengers.

I understand, from Jochen, that is down to 3 or 4.

Bernard Schopfer: It has been decided, together with the challengers, that the detail of these discussions will remain confidential.

Are you now able to say exactly what will make you drop the court case?

Bernard Schopfer: I can’t give the details, but it is really only about ensuring that the new boat rule and the other rules are fair to all the competitors. I think that is what all the challengers want.

How long do you think it is going to take to reach a situation where you will drop the court case?

Bernard Schopfer: We hope that we are very close to a settlement. We all loved that last sentence of your talk with Captain Sarno - HERE , when he called for us all to sit down together and solve this so we could compete in another great event.

Thanks Bernard, I appreciate your call.
In addition to stories in this 33rd America's Cup section, you can read stories from the 32nd America's Cup . You will also find some older stories and interviews, from the last event, HERE.
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