SEATTLE–The British Americas Cup challenge received an “illegal, immoral, and totally unethical offer” of design secrets of the Team New Zealand boats that won and successfully defended the Cup, according to Julia Harrison-Lee, the Director of GBR Challenge. GBR Challenge General Manager David Barnes refused a substantial package of plans, engineering drawings, and design data from 40-year-old lawyer Sean Reeves, who had been a rules adviser with the Kiwi team.
Reeves was an early signing by Craig McCaws One World Challenge, as was the Team New Zealand designer Laurie Davidson, but early this year, Reeves left the One World and is purported on July 17 to have offered a similar package of the American syndicates design secrets to his former 470 sailing partner, Chris Dickson, now of Larry Ellisons Oracle Racing Team.
One World Challenge is suing Reeves under the Trade Secrets Act and requesting unspecified damages and costs for attempting to sell these plans and technical details which it says are worth $2million. His father, Manning Reeves, a lawyer in New Plymouth, New Zealand, says his son is, “Irate about the allegations.”
Barnes has made a sworn declaration to the King County Superior Court in Seattle giving details of the offer made to him by Reeves. It was prior to the offer to Dickson and was first made on June 23. Reeves telephoned Barnes and repeated the offer. On both occasions Barnes firmly refused to accept and has been thanked by One World for his “honorable disclosure.”