America's Cup- Review Committee meets Teams - Italians break to ranks?
by Richard Gladwell on 18 May 2013
The Review Committee investigating all aspects of the 34th America's Cup have met with the four teams, today in San Francisco.
Patrizio Bertelli - Luna Rossa Press Conference in Alameda-San Francisco
Carlo Borlenghi/Luna Rossa© http://www.lunarossachallenge.com
The six person Committee was established by America's Cup organisers following the fatal accident when training, involving Artemis Racing, the Swedish Challenger for the 34th America's Cup. The causes of the accident, which appeared to involve catastrophic structural failure on the team's first AC72, have not yet been determined.
The meeting with the Teams came on the back of a recommendation from the Review Committee that all teams should suspend racing for a further week, until May 22.
Another backdrop to the Teams Meeting came from comments Patrizio Bertelli, head of Italian Challenger Luna Rossa, where he was placing a high emphasis on crew safety and by implication was aiming at having the wind limits reduced for the racing, and the America's Cup in particular which has an upper limit of 33kts average before the start.
In a guarded release following the meeting with the Teams, the Review Committee thanked Mr Bertelli for supporting the continuance of the America's Cup Regatta as planned this summer on San Francisco Bay, during his press conference this afternoon in Alameda.
'We are pleased that Luna Rossa has already submitted its suggestions to the Review Committee,' they added. 'We are, however, disappointed that Luna Rossa indicated that it might not follow the Review Committee’s recommendation issued last evening that teams not sail in San Francisco before May 23rd (to allow the Committee time to make further recommendations).
'We note that Luna Rossa has already sailed its AC72 yacht in Auckland for some 40 days without incident and are now prepared to sail in San Francisco Bay.
'Nonetheless, we expect that the Review Committee’s safety-driven recommendations will be accepted by the teams, and we appreciate Mr. Bertelli’s assurances in that regard during today’s press conference.
'The best way forward for the expert Review Committee is to complete its work and publish its recommendations so that we will achieve the safest-possible resumption of AC72 training and racing on San Francisco Bay as soon as possible,' the Review Committee concluded.
The reasons for Luna Rossa's statement, if correctly reported, have not yet been publicly spelled out, but probably are a reflection of the team's confidence in themselves, and a reluctance to start running a training program under dates and conditions recommended by a Review Committee. That in turn costs them valuable training time ahead of the Louis Vuitton Cup which starts in seven weeks time on July 4, 2013.