The Swiss holders of the America’s Cup have launched legal action against an unidentified New Zealander in an attempt to regain a discarded piece of the prestigious yachting trophy.
The Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) said on Friday at 0300GMT deadline for the individual to surrender a piece of the world’s oldest sporting trophy had expired.
“We are doing what is needed to recover the piece. Legal steps are being taken,” Alec Tournier, SNG secretary general, told Reuters. “We have a legal obligation as trustee of the America’s Cup so pieces are not scattered across the world.”
SNG is the host club of Team Alinghi which took the America’s Cup from New Zealand in a 5-0 whitewash in 2003. Financed by biotech billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, the holders will defend the trophy next year in Valencia.
The trophy, dubbed the “Auld Mug”, was attacked with a sledge hammer by an activist from New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people while it was on show in Auckland in 1997 after New Zealand first won the competition.