A non-profit sailing group from North Carolina is suing 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 GGYC to accept its application, hold a defender series, provide the group with at least two 45-foot catamarans and pay in excess of $1 million in damages. The group also wants GGYC removed as America's Cup trustee.
The suit comes less than two years after one of the most bitter chapters in America's Cup history ended when BMW Oracle Racing, the sailing team that represents GGYC, swept Alinghi of Switzerland in two races off Valencia, Spain. That regatta was the result of a long, convoluted court fight between the billionaire syndicate owners.
BMW Oracle Racing is now known as Oracle Racing. It is owned by Silicon Valley maverick Larry Ellison, head of Oracle Corp.
GGYC said it was served with the lawsuit Tuesday.
"We believe the lawsuit is utterly without merit and that GGYC 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 ADM's application "was late, lacking and lamentable."
The group said it was unable to raise money after its application was rejected.
In the suit, ADM accuses GGYC of self-dealing in negotiating real estate deals and then not sharing revenue with other America's Cup participants.