Feb. 4, 1987--Dennis Conner wins America's Cup from Australia, sailing for the San Diego Yacht Club. Instead of following the New York Yacht Club procedure of immediately announcing terms of the next defense, SDYC becomes involved in conflicts over control of the regatta, site for the event, fund-raising and other financial issues.
July 17, 1987--Mercury Bay Boating Club (MBBC) formally challenges SDYC to a match for the America's Cup "in the manner set forth in the American's Cup Deed of Gift." Michael Fay delivers the challenge by hand to the SDYC. The challenge specifies racing in a 90-foot waterline monohull, to begin in June, 1988.
Aug. 31, 1987--After being told by the SDYC that there would be no response to its challenge, New Zealand asks the New York Supreme Court, arbitrator of Deed of Gift conflicts, to order the SDYC to acknowledge the challenge as valid.
Nov. 25, 1987--Judge Carmen Ciparick rules the MBBC challenge is valid and disallows San Diego's request to amend the Deed of Gift. The court tells the SDYC that the choices are to sail a match for the Cup in accordance with the challenge and the terms of the Deed, to negotiate other terms by mutual consent or to forfeit the Cup.
Jan. 19, 1988--During a week of talks with MBBC in San Diego, SDYC announces it will defend with a catamaran.
May 5, 1988--Mercury Bay asks the Supreme Court in New York to order SDYC to abandon a multihull defense because it is contrary to the Deed of Gift.
July 25, 1988--Ciparick orders SDYC and MBBC to race first and protest later.
Sept. 7 and 9, 1988--SDYC's catamaran sweeps the series, 2-0. Establishing early superiority in both races and sailing sporadically thereafter, Stars and Stripes beats New Zealand in a bizarre international encounter.
Nov. 30, 1988--MBBC asks the Court to disqualify SDYC's 1988 catamaran defender on the grounds that it was not qualified in terms of the Deed of Gift and MBBC's notice of challenge.
Jan. 9, 1989--Twenty-five international challengers meet in San Diego and reach agreement on a new America's Cup class design inspired by the big boat challenge and by new-found challenger's rights revealed by Mercury Bay's challenge.
March 28, 1989--In the first disqualification in the Cup's 138-year history, Ciparick rules that the San Diego Yacht Club flouted rules in the two-race sweep last September by sailing a catamaran while the New Zealanders used a traditional monohulled craft.
Sept. 19, 1989--The San Diego Yacht Club's appeal to the appellate division of the New York Supreme Court reversed Ciparick's decision by a 4-1 vote. Fay promises to appeal to the next level.
April 26, 1990--The issue is resolved when New York Court of Appeals votes, 5-2, to uphold the decision of Sept. 19. The ruling says "legal" supersedes "fairness" in the eye of the court.
* RELATED STORIES Pages A1, B1