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America's Cup- Emirates Team NZ welcomes Murray's report

by Warren Douglas on 23 May 2013
Emirates Team New Zealand sail NZL5 for the last time in New Zealand before being shipped to San Francisco. Chris Cameron/ETNZ© http://www.chriscameron.co.nz

Emirates Team New Zealand welcomes the finding of the committee reviewing the fatal incident involving the Artemis Racing AC72. The committee’s recommendations were released today in San Francisco.

Managing director Grant Dalton said the team supports the review committee’s recommendations in principle. 'They are prudent and reasonable,' he said.

'The committee has done some remarkable work in only six days. The details still have to be worked on but we see nothing that will adversely affect the event.

'We have confidence in our boat – design, engineering and construction – and the sailing and support crews. We have invested a lot of time and money on safety.'

The Emirates Team, New Zealand AC72 is ready to be re-launched. The team plans a quick shakedown sail tomorrow (Thursday San Francisco time) before re-starting training and development programme on Friday.

The ACRM release to media on the safety recommendation said:

Structural reviews of AC72 boats and wings, a 10-knot lower wind limit (23 knots maximum) and enhanced sailor safety equipment are among the 37 recommendations issued today to increase safety.

Many of the recommendations are intended to increase the personal safety of the sailors and they include buoyancy aids, body armour, crew locator devices, hands-free breathing apparatus and high-visibility helmets.

Other recommendations are specific to the AC72 yachts, additional support equipment and race management.

Regatta Director Iain Murray, presented his report at a meeting with the four competing teams and the America’s Cup Event Authority on Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco.

For reasons of insurance and liability, the Review Committee stopped short of making its own recommendations.

Regatta Director Iain Murray has formulated the specific safety recommendations. ?These additional recommendations have been incorporated into the safety plan produced by the America’s Cup, which was forwarded to the U.S. Coast Guard today.?

'Producing and implementing the safety plan is within the scope of the America's Cup, as the sponsoring organization for this summer’s racing,' said Stephen Barclay, the CEO of the America’s Cup.

'This America’s Cup safety plan is a necessary component of the permit application submitted to the Coast Guard for their consideration.'

Iain Murray will now form a number of task forces to bring in experts to define additional technical recommendations for specific safety items such as protective gear for sailors.??

Since its first meeting on May 16, the Review Committee has interviewed 25 team members including team heads, skippers, designers, engineers, sailors and support boat operators.

'All four competing America’s Cup teams have cooperated in an open, helpful and constructive way,' Murray said, 'and the Review Committee noted there is a clear desire on the part of the teams to ensure the safety of the America’s Cup as much as possible.'
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