Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018

Luna Rossa boycott threat hangs over America's Cup


(By Paul Virgo)
Rome, July 5 - The 34th America's Cup officially
kicked off with an opening ceremony in San Francisco on Friday,
but it is still not certain that Italian team Luna Rossa will be
in the water when competition is set to start on Sunday.
Prada-backed Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand have both
presented appeals against rule changes introduced following a
training accident by Swedish outfit Artemis in May in which
British sailor Andrew Simpson died.
The 37 changes to the rules are designed to boost the
safety of the extremely fast and hard-to-handle AC72-class of
wingsailed catamarans being used in the challenger series, the
Louis Vuitton Cup, and the America's Cup proper.
The Italians and the New Zealanders agreed to almost all
of the changes, but fear that two of them may favour the
defending team, BMW Oracle of the United States.
These regard additional weight and the use of equipment
called rudder elevators, which control the catamarans when they
The problem is that the America's Cup jury is not set to
decide until Monday on Team New Zealand's petition that Regatta
Director Iain Murray exceeded his powers with these rule
changes. There is no schedule yet for the Luna Rossa protest.
"Luna Rossa is indeed in favour of the introduction of new
and more stringent safety regulations," the Italian team said in
a statement.
"But the measures regarding rudders, rudder elevators as
well as the increased displacement have nothing to do with
safety, since their only reason and effect to increase the speed
and performance of the boat...
"Luna Rossa is eager to race in the 34th America's Cup and
be respectful of the rules governing it, but it will not accept
any imposition contrary to the rules under which it has
The row risks escalating.
Murray has said that his safety measures form "a package"
and the teams cannot "pick and choose".
He added that if the jury decision goes against him, he
will inform the Coast Guard and warned that they may stop the
Artemis has so far stayed out of the row.
The Swedes are not due to start racing until the end of
this month after one of their boats was destroyed in the
accident in which 2008 Olympic gold medallist Simpson died.
Luna Rossa is taking part in its fourth America's Cup after
competing in 2000, 2003 and 2007 for the oldest active trophy in
international sport, which was first awarded in 1851.
The Italian team's best America's Cup campaign was their
first one, in 2000, when they won the Louis Vuitton Cup to earn
the right to challenge for the America's Cup before being
whitewashed 5-0 by New Zealand in the decisive series.

© Riproduzione riservata

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