Michael Burgess

Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

America's Cup: Time limits torment

Photo / Brett Phibbs
Photo / Brett Phibbs

Michael Burgess

Racing time limits have played their part in America's Cup regattas before, but never with such dramatic consequences as we saw yesterday.

• The most famous previous example was in the third race of the 1983 America's Cup, between John Bertrand's Australia II and Dennis Conner's Liberty.

Down 0-2 in the best of seven series, Australia II were six minutes ahead of the defender (and only two miles from the finish line) when the race was called off. "God must be an American", was Conner's famous response after the race.

• In 1977 Courageous, skippered by CNN magnate Ted Turner, was 500m from the finish line and well ahead of Australia (the Australian challenger backed by Alan Bond) when the race was called off, as the 5h 30m time limit (for the 30-mile race) had been exceeded.

"If you have ever heard grown men cry, it was when they fired the gun on the committee boat and we knew that the time limit was up," said Turner.

• In the 2002 Louis Vuitton series, several races, including duels between One World and Stars and Stripes, and also Oracle against Victory Challenge, were called off as the boats exceeded the time limit.

• On July 16 during the Louis Vuitton round robin series, Luna Rossa completed the current course in 43m 06s, 3m 06s over the time limit. The Italians were meant to be racing Artemis but the Swedish challenger didn't start. Despite exceeding the set limit of 40 minutes, Luna Rossa was allowed to continue the race to the finish line and the result stood, with the Italians awarded one point.

• According to British sailing historian Bob Fisher, no America's Cup race has been abandoned with one team just a point away from victory.

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 23 Dec 2014 05:38:03 Processing Time: 641ms