Cupdate, hall of famers and BIRW—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
Oracle Team USA's elevated-rudder system has been commanding America's Cup headlines this week, with open debate amongst the other challengers as to whether this system is permissible. According to the latest reports, Luna Rossa has been quoted as saying that they are prepared to take Oracle Team USA to court over the questionable appendages, unless the other challengers can come together to prevent the Defender from using this technology.
|Larry Ellison visits Team / SFO March Testing Session / Oracle Team USA Guilain Grenier/Oracle Racing© |
Regatta Director Iain Murray released a list of proposed safety recommendations in the wake of Artemis Racing's tragic capsize on May 9 that cost crewmember Andrew 'Bart' Simpson his life. This list curiously contained a change that would allow teams to use rudder elevators (devices that allow the team to adjust the angle of attack on their rudder-mounted hydrofoils) until a race's warning gun was sounded.
Until this point, the AC72 rules forbade any adjustment of the hydrofoils/appendages, which was one of the main challenges that teams had to overcome to learn how to foil one of these mighty, wingsail-powered catamarans. It is believed that Oracle Team USA has been sailing with these elevators since mid-March; it's also believed that Oracle is the only team to have built rudder elevators.
|GG13-SFOMAR-02113 - Oracle Team USA March 2013 Training Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA© |
'The class rule doesn't contemplate rudder elevators at all,' reported Luis Saenz, general counsel for the Luna Rossa Challenge, to Reuters news agency. 'We think they have nothing to do with safety. They are a performance instrument, and we do not believe the regatta director should get into regulating rudder elevators.'
The International Jury is likely the next step, but the issue could potentially find its way back into the lap of the New York Supreme Court-an ugly proposition, at best. Get the full details of this contentious story inside this issue, and stay tuned to the website for the latest AC news, as it breaks.
Meanwhile, for happier news regarding former America's Cuppers and other legendary sailors, the National Sailing Center and Hall of Fame has released the names of the ten sailors who will be inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2013. These men and women include Cup winners, Olympic and One Design champions, naval architects, sailing photographers and marine-industry greats. Inside, get the full list of 2013 inductees, and learn more about these individuals' proud achievements.
And on the storied waters of Block Island Sound, east coast sailors are enjoying a fine start to the biennial Block Island Race Week (BIRW). 'The first race felt like we couldn't do anything wrong,' said Andrew Fisher, skipper of the Swan 42, 'Bandit', currently sitting in the pole position in her class. 'All and all a good day, but just because we're in the lead now doesn't mean much. The winner of our last regatta averaged top-three every race.'
Racing continues at Block Island Race Week through Friday. Get the latest report, inside this issue, and be sure to visit the site throughout the week for updates, as they unfurl.
|RC44 Sweden Cup - Torbjorn Tornqvist at the helm of Artemis Racing MartinezStudio.es © |
Also inside, be sure to get the latest news from Kieler Woche, the RC44 Sweden Cup and the ORCi World Championships. And finally, Cup addicts are highly advised to pay close attention to the interesting correspondence (inside) between Stephen Barclay, CEO of America's Cup Events Authority, and Richard Gladwell, Sail-World's New Zealand and America's Cup editor.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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