Team New Zealand waded into the America's Cup legal fight on Thursday, suing two-time defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland in two New York courts in an attempt to recoup tens of millions of euros it says it will lose because the next regatta has been postponed.
Team New Zealand sued in the New York State Supreme Court under a breach of contract argument, saying it signed up for the 33rd America's Cup with the promise that it would be sailed in Valencia, Spain, in July 2009.
The other suit was filed in U.S. District Court under antitrust legislation, stating that Alinghi abused its power "to stifle competition" by accepting a Spanish yacht club's invalid challenge to "gain an unfair competitive advantage."
"I want to say up front that neither of these cases are what we wanted to be doing," Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton said by phone from New York. "Kiwis, we're not about litigating, we're about sailing and fighting on the water fairly. We were forced into this situation."