Dana Johannsen

Dana Johannsen is the NZ Herald’s chief sports reporter

Yachting: Luna Rossa fined $110k for skipping party

Luna Rossa have been stung over $110,000 for failing to turn up to the Louis Vuitton Cup opening party last month. Photo / Carlo Borlenghi/Luna Rossa.
Luna Rossa have been stung over $110,000 for failing to turn up to the Louis Vuitton Cup opening party last month. Photo / Carlo Borlenghi/Luna Rossa.

Luna Rossa have been stung over $110,000 for failing to turn up to the Louis Vuitton Cup opening party last month.

The international jury have ordered the Italian team to pay $US35,000 to the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation - a charity set up to honour the British sailor who was tragically killed in a training accident in May - and $US35,000 to the Treasure Island Sailing Centre. Luna Rossa have also been ordered to pay all of the jury's costs in hearing the protest, which total $US20,000.

The Italian team opted to boycott the glamour event which marked the official opening of the challenger series while they awaited a jury decision on their protest over regatta director Iain Murray's attempts to alter the design rules.

America's Cup organisers protested the Italians non-appearance to the international jury, claiming Luna Rossa were contractually bound to appear at the party. The Italians named 102 members of their team to attend the official festivities, but just three turned up.

The America's Cup Events Authority (ACEA) claimed Luna Rossa were also required to have their AC45 catamaran docked outside the venue on display, which they failed to do.

The international jury last week ruled in favour of the ACEA, finding Luna Rossa had breached Protocol article 45.2 (participation in special events) and article 2 (purpose and intent) by failing, without justification, to participate in and/or comply with the prescribed requirements for two special events related to the Louis Vuitton Cup. In their application regarding costs, the ACEA contended Luna Rossa should be fined nearly $250,000 for the breach.

Meanwhile, Team New Zealand have lost their bid to get performance data from Oracle's boats, ensuring the Cup defenders keep their information advantage over the challengers.

The Kiwi team went to the international jury to seek clarification on the status of Oracle while it trained on the race course during the official defender access periods following the challenger races. The challengers have to present all their performance data while under race conditions. Oracle has access to this information and have the advantage of then being able to match it to their own performance in the same conditions - to the frustration of Team NZ.

But the international jury have ruled that Oracle are not required to release their telemetry data while practising on the race course.

The final day of Louis Vuitton round robin passed this morning with no team turning up to the race course.

After Team New Zealand withdrew from their final match-up against Artemis, who are still building up their confidence sailing their newly launched AC72 and not yet race-ready, Luna Rossa followed suit this morning and also sat out their final race against Artemis.

The two teams are due to face off in the Louis Vuitton semifinals, beginning on Wednesday.

- APNZ

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