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Group Still Wants 12-Meters to Chase Cup in '91

December 10, 1987|Associated Press

NEW YORK — The International 12-Meter Assn. voted Wednesday to continue plans for a 12-meter America's Cup yacht race in 1991, despite a court order that would allow a New Zealand challenge with a much larger boat.

Gianfranco Alberini, chairman of the 32-member association, said the vote was 28-0 with three nations absent and New Zealand abstaining.

"We have invited the two parties, New Zealand and the United States, to sit down and discuss that there might be a solution they could agree upon for 1991," Alberini said after the meeting.

The New York Yacht Club lost the America's Cup to Australian Alan Bond in 1983 in Newport, R.I. Dennis Conner, racing for the San Diego Yacht Club, won it back from an Australian syndicate at Perth last February.

Those races were held in 12-meter yachts, as have all other recent America's Cup races. But on Nov. 25, New Zealand banker Michael Fay won an order in New York State Supreme Court allowing him to challenge next year. The order placed no restriction on the size of the boat, but Fay wants to race in a boat that is 90 feet at the waterline.

The San Diego Yacht Club, which planned to defend the Cup in 1991, reluctantly accepted the court order and agreed to meet Fay's challenge in 1988 in a three-race series. Fay has said he might consider delaying the race-off until 1989 if the San Diego group will allow other challenges at the same time.

Also Wednesday, State Supreme Court Justice Carmen Ciparick, who ruled in Fay's favor, scheduled a hearing for Dec. 16 to determine the San Diego Yacht Club's legal standing in the case.

Fay is expected to renew his offer to race in 1989 at a news conference today in New York. He will be accompanied by members of syndicates from five other countries that would like to challenge in 1991, including Bond.

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