America's Cup: Team NZ dismiss Oracle allegations

By Paul Lewis

Allegations by Oracle Team USA that Emirates Team New Zealand had trespassed to gather information have been dismissed by the team as "laughable".

Team NZ said Oracle was using the protest to confuse issues ahead of the jury hearings on allegations of gross misconduct by Oracle team members under rule 69 of the Racing Rules of Sailing. A further hearing under Article 60 of the Protocol will determine whether Oracle had engaged in conduct detrimental to the America's Cup.

Oracle alleged in a protest to the America's Cup international jury that members of Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa had trespassed on an Oracle AC45 in an attempt to gain the information.

Emirates Team New Zealand has refuted that. In a statement, Team NZ said: "A Yachting New Zealand crew which is competing in the Youth America's Cup is using the Emirates Team New Zealand's AC45. ETNZ has provided support, including helping to prepare the yacht for competition.

"The YNZ AC45 was parked alongside an Oracle yacht on common ground at Pier 30/32."

The Jury hearings stem from the discovery of lead in AC45 yachts maintained by Oracle and raced in America's Cup World Series regattas. Oracle admitted on August 8 that the one-design yachts had been modified without the permission of the measurement committee.

The Oracle protest alleges Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa crewmen had broken Protocol Article 37 which covers reconnaissance.

The jury hearing for this matter has been set down for Thursday, NZT.

- NZ Herald

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