African Diaspora Maritime v. Golden Gate Yacht Club
NEW YORK COUNTY
Justice Barbara Kapnick
African Diaspora Maritime Corporation (ADM) brought a breach of contract action against defendant Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the current trustee of the America's Cup, arising out of GGYC's rejection of ADM's application to compete to be a Defender of the Cup in the 34th America's Cup to take place in San Francisco in 2013 (AC34). Under a "Protocol," anyone seeking to put together a racing team from the home country of the Cup holder can apply to GGYC to represent it in AC34. Those teams are known as "Defender Candidates," since they would be applying to defend GGYC's possession of the Cup. The court granted GGYC's motion to dismiss the breach of contract action, finding nothing in the plain language of the Protocol that indicated an intent that GGYC be bound upon the receipt of the Defender Candidate application and the accompanying fee to do more than review that application. The court further added that the acceptance of a Defender Candidate application was dependent upon both GGYC being satisfied with the resources and experience of the applicant, and also upon GGYC deciding to hold a Defender Series in the first place.