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Black Sailing Group Sues Over SF America’s Cup Exclusion

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The ORACLE Racing AC45 catamarans practice near the Golden Gate Bridge on February 21, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The AC45 is the forerunner to the AC72, which teams will race in the Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup finals in 2013 in San Francisco. The AC45 will be featured at the America's Cup World Series.   (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The ORACLE Racing AC45 catamarans practice near the Golden Gate Bridge on February 21, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The AC45 is the forerunner to the AC72, which teams will race in the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup finals in 2013 in San Francisco. The AC45 will be featured at the America’s Cup World Series. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – An African-American sailing group is suing San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club for the right to challenge Oracle Racing as the United States representative to the upcoming America’s Cup.

North Carolina-based African Diaspora Maritime is an organization dedicated to getting more black men and women into sailing. The group claims that its “two-year attempt to integrate the upcoming 34th America’s Cup” has been thwarted, and ADM representatives are now bringing the case before the State Supreme court of New York.

The suit claims that The Golden Gate Yacht Club, host of the 2013 race series, breached their contractual obligations when they rejected the AMD’s race application for “purely pretextual and evershifting reasons.”

ADM had sought to compete in a Defender Selection Series qualifying race against Oracle Founder Larry Ellison’s Team Oracle Racing, the 2010 America’s Cup champion.

ADM Founder Charles Kithcart discussed the racial component of the case in a recent Huffington Post Article, saying “It doesn’t look good when a team of African-Americans is excluded from something like this.”

The Yacht Club claims that ADM’s application was rejected and the entry fee returned because there was evidence that the organization did not have enough financial resources to compete. Representatives of the club told The Huffington Post that the lawsuit was a “PR stunt” and “totally without merit”

The case is due in court on June 27th. Read the full complaint here.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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