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Louis Vuitton Cup- Charities benefit from Luna Rossa's No-Shows

by Richard Gladwell on 4 Aug 2013
Louis Vuitton Cup - Race Day 9 - Luna Rossa ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/

Two charities have benefited to the tune of USD 35,000 each in penalties imposed by the International Jury on the Italian Challenger, Luna Rossa.

The penalties stem from two complaints laid by the America’s Cup Event Authority for the late boycott of the Louis Vuitton Party at the start of the Regatta and the refusal to display an AC45 at the America’s Cup Opening Ceremony.

The Jury declined to impose the $100,000 penalty on each count sought by the America’s Cup Events Authority, despite the fact that the same body had accepted a voluntary donation of $20,000 by Oracle Team USA for failing to display an AC45 at an America’s Cup World Series Event in Venice. Both breaches were covered by the same Article of the Protocol.

According to the Jury Decision the non-appearance of the team at the Louis Vuitton Party came after they had accepted the invitations for over one hundred team members and only three turned up.

Both boycotts stemmed from the team wishing to make a stand on a matter of principle over the way the changes to the AC72 Class Rule had been handled, and the fact that the Jury would not be meeting (or racing deferred) until after the first race had been sailed.

In addition to the two events named in the complaint, Luna Rossa also declined to sail the first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup, much to the chagrin of organisers.

The Charities to benefit from the Italian indiscretions are the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, the Treasure Island Sailing Center. In addition Luan Rossa was levied a further USD 20,000 in costs.

The relationship between the long-time Italian Challenger and the AC Events Authority are variously described as 'strained' and 'very strained' in documents submitted, and the Decision, with three protests being lodged.

A second protest by Luna Rossa against the Events Authority has been dismissed, after the Jury accepted that the image used in posters around the America’s Cup venue did not infringe a requirement of the Protocol that images of the boats sailing in the event, if used, should not be altered or defaced.

AC Events Authority while conceding that the image used was based on an image of Luna Rossa, taken in Auckland (and therefore not part of the Event), but it had been altered to become a more generic AC72 – done in case a yacht used in the image dropped out of the regatta, and in so doing, the poster had become a Hero Shot similar to that used in Ruby World Cup, Cricket World Cups and similar tournaments.

A third claim lodged by America’s Cup Events Authority over cancellation of the construction of a Hospitality Lounged by Luna Rossa is still being heard by the International Jury.

There the amount claimed is more substantial being almost USD 380,000 plus any Jury costs. An Oral Hearing will be heard on August 8, in San Francisco.
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