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Monday, March 9, 2015

Judge Orders Seizure of Oracle Team USA's Winning Boat

Posted By on Mon, Mar 9, 2015 at 4:52 PM

click image A vessel similar to the boat in question - ROBERT COUSE-BAKER / FLICKR
  • Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr
  • A vessel similar to the boat in question
Perhaps Oracle Team USA's windswept victory at the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco boiled down to pure skill after all — since the team doesn't appear to have any real luck. They've been sued again for the second time in recent months.

Upon the request of a disgruntled former-sailor for the Oracle Team USA, a federal court just ordered marshals to confiscate one of the team's Pier 80-docked boats, the Associated Press is reporting.

Sailor Joe Spooner is suing the team for one of Oracle's specially-crafted, 45-foot catamarans, tested in the San Francisco Bay in February as Oracle prepares to compete in the America's Cup in 2017.

Spooner sued the team last month for wrongful termination after he was let go in January. Though his first complaint was denied in February, an amended complaint he submitted Friday seems to have yielded different results.

In response to the lien he filed, a U.S. District Court clerk in San Francisco issued the warrant Friday.

Spooner, who is from New Zealand, says his contract for $25,000 per month from July of this year until June 2017 was terminated without cause. His visa requires him to work under a fixed-term contract, according to the AP report.

Oracle Team USA spokesperson Peter Rusch told the AP he doesn't "believe anything has materially changed in the case" and the team is "hopeful the judge will overturn the arrest order."

The prototype boat was still at Oracle's dock in San Francisco as of Saturday, Rusch told the AP, but there's no word as to where the vessel is now.

Spooner is seeking at least $725,000 in damages.
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