America’s Cup 34 Season Started
I’ve just been watching the above footage of the first AC72 Louis Vuiton Cup race. Strangely you see just one 72ft catamaran compete: Emirates Team New Zealand is the only one. It was scheduled to compete against Luna Rossa which announced not to compete in this race. The problem is that due to the fact there was a fatal accident in which British Olympic Medal winner Andrew “Bart” Simpson died when the Artemis Team AC72 capsized in May, the Race committee added 37 new rules to the Racing Rules, 2 of which the Luna Rossa team decline. They wanted a ruling by the international jury, but the jury doesn’t convene until after the first race…..
Italy’s Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena said at the opening Skippers’ Press Conference that his team might not take part in Sunday’s first scheduled race of the Louis Vuitton Cup until the International Jury hears its complaint about the Safety Rules.
“We’re extremely disappointed by this,” said America’s Cup Chief Executive Stephen Barclay. “First and foremost, this is an affront to the fans who’ve been waiting three and half years for the first race.”
The Italian skipper said he would decide on Saturday whether to race or not.
The Safety Rules, generated from the 37 Safety Recommendations created in the wake of the death of Artemis Racing crew member Andrew Simpson on May 9 were agreed in principle by all four teams on May 22. Subsequently, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa said they weren’t happy with two of those recommendations and have challenged the procedure by which they became rules of the regatta by lodging protests with the International Jury.
The International Jury is scheduled to meet on Monday.
“All the challenger boats are in measurement trim and can race,” confirmed Regatta Director Iain Murray. “To win the America’s Cup you have to go out and win races. If you don’t turn up, you don’t win races, you don’t get points, you don’t win the America’s Cup.”
“What everyone will struggle to understand is Sirena saying he’s taking his stance on principle,” added Barclay. “This is the most unprincipled action I can think of because Luna Rossa’s case is before the Jury. There is no reason not to compete, not to try and put the first score of the regatta on the board.
“This gesture has no merit, will not get any sympathy and hurts fans, the other teams, their partners and guests, the city of San Francisco and all our stakeholders too,” Barclay continued.
“I urge Sirena to race. Having the Italian boat on the start line on Sunday is best for everyone, including Luna Rossa.”
Dean Barker, skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand said: “We’re here, we’re ready to go racing. Whether Luna Rossa decides to race or not, we’ll be out there, spending time on the race course.”
However, the Luna Rossa version is more straight forward:
July 2, 2013
Luna Rossa protests the Race Director
San Francisco, 2nd of July 2013 – Today the team Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 will file a protest before the International Jury of the 34th America’s Cup against the measures introduced by the Regatta Director on Friday 29th of June (Regatta Notices 185 and 189).
Luna Rossa considers that, by issuing these documents, the Regatta Director has blatantly breached the rules governing the 34th America’s Cup and has exceeded his jurisdiction and authority.
As everybody knows, one of the fundamental pillars of any America’s Cup is the Class Rule, which was proposed by the Defender and accepted by the Challengers at the moment in which they challenge.
It can only be changed with the unanimous consent of the competitors (AC72 Class Rule – Art. 4), as it has been the case more than a dozen times in this Cup.
This is the fundamental guarantee that preserves the rights of the challengers and prevents the Defender -or any other third party – to change the rules of the game abruptly and/or unilaterally, as the Regatta Director is trying to do in this case: a clear attempt to make illegal our boat just days before the start of the event, with the excuse of safety.
Luna Rossa is indeed in favour of the introduction of new and more stringent safety regulations (it has approved 35 out of the 37 Recommendations of the Regatta Director), 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 has also asked that the protest is heard before the first race of the Round Robins, scheduled the 7th of July (Luna Rossa vs. Emirates Team New Zealand).
As it was clearly stated at the press briefing in Alameda the 17th of May, 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 challenged.
On Twitter the Race Director claimed that the Jury could not convene earlier as it is under ISAF Rule.
I would say the Race Director could have postponed this race until the Jury had reached a decision. It is clear to me that Luna Rossa will now also seek and get a redress by the Jury…double work…to keep the public and sponsors satisfied??