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UAE Can’t Host February Yacht Race, Court Says

(CN) - A New York appeals court blocked the defending America's Cup champion from selecting the United Arab Emigrates as the venue for a yacht race in February.

Golden Gate Yacht Club, the San Francisco-based outfit that's scheduled to challenge for the Cup in 2010, asked the trial court to invalidate Societe Nautique de Geneve's (SNG) selection of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) in the United Arab Emirates as the location for the next America's Cup title defense.

According to the deed governing the America's Cup, races must take place in the Northern Hemisphere between May 1 and Nov. 1, and in the Southern Hemisphere between Nov. 1 and May 1.

The trial court granted Golden Gate's motion, and the Manhattan-based First Appellate Division affirmed on appeal.

"RAK, which is in the Northern Hemisphere, is not a Deed-compliant location for a February race," the justices wrote.

SNG, a Swiss group, last defended its title in 2007, defeating Team New Zealand.

The justices also affirmed the lower court's ruling that a yacht's rudders may not be included when measuring its length.

"The court properly relied on undisputed extrinsic evidence, including New York Yacht Club rules at the time the 1887 Deed was settled, showing that length ... is typically measured exclusive of any portion of the rudder or rudder-stock," the ruling states.

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