Yachting: NZ to file a protest with jury

By Dana Johannsen

Emirates Team New Zealand said in a statement they support all the other safety recommendations.  Photo / Chris Cameron
Emirates Team New Zealand said in a statement they support all the other safety recommendations. Photo / Chris Cameron

Team New Zealand has confirmed its intention to file a protest with the America's Cup Jury seeking a ruling that the regatta director has exceeded his jurisdiction in seeking to unilaterally introduce changes to the AC72 class rule.

The recommended changes relate to additional weight of the yachts and rudder elevators.

The team believes that changes to the rule so close to the start of racing require the unanimous consent of all eligible competitors.

The proposed changes relate to two of the regatta director's 37 safety recommendations issued in May following the review committee's report after the capsize of Artemis Racing.

Emirates Team New Zealand said in a statement they support all the other safety recommendations, which have now been approved by competitors, including the reduction of wind limits and various new rules to ensure enhanced crew safety.

"However it is our view that the contentious class rule changes are performance-related rules not necessary to ensure safety," the statement said.

The team contend regatta director Iain Murray does not have the power to introduce class rule changes by seeking to use the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard to introduce these rules via the Marine Event Permit - a document the event organisers are required to obtain to hold the regatta on San Francisco Bay.

The decision of the jury will be final and binding on all parties, and contrary to some media speculation, any competitor who resorts to a Court in an issue where the Jury has jurisdiction immediately ceases to be eligible to compete.

The international jury are due to arrive in San Francisco on Thursday (NZT) and the hearing will be held that day, meaning the jury protest will not delay the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

"We look forward to the jury determining the issue so, whatever the decision is, we can get on with the racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup starting July 7."

- NZ Herald

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