Bob Evans, Oracle
Sailors who are familiar with New England know about the sticky, humid and rather nasty weather that plagues the so-called dog-days of summer here. Stir in some brooding thunderstorms that erupt but fail to clear the air of the humidity and suddenly New England’s worst-case weather scenarios could describe the current atmosphere in the America’s Cup world: Hot, intense and stickier than anyone would like. Factor-in some 'interesting' notions of 'sportsmanship' from a certain Italian-flagged challenger and the AC world has been fraught with thunderstorms that fail to clear the air for the past week.
Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and Luna Rossa presented their protests and arguments to the International Jury on Monday, carefully explaining how they feel that Regatta Director Iain Murray has overstepped his authority with his list of 37 safety recommendations. According to ETNZ and Luna Rossa, some of these safety recommendations are in fact performance boosters, which essentially amount to a backdoor change to the AC72 class rule. Luna Rossa plans to continue to boycott the Louis Vuitton Cup until the International Jury has delivered its decision, thus turning the first week of racing into some solo-sailing time for ETNZ.
The International Jury is expected to give their decision fairly soon (ideally today!), offering hope of clearer air in the near future. But, until that happens, the AC world remains one that’s rocked with plenty of thunder and more than a little bit of metaphorical rain on the start to what had been gloriously billed as the 'Summer of Sailing'.
And to further complicate matters, Louis Vuitton is reportedly seeking a multi-million-dollar refund from the event, given the lackluster entry list. Stay tuned to the website for the latest LVC and AC news, as it breaks, and be sure to check out the coverage and image galleries from the first week of racing. Hopefully, the stank air will clear out on both coasts soon, allowing sailors to do what they love best.
Meanwhile, in offshore news, the second wave of Transpac boats will cross the starting line off of Los Angeles today at 1300 hours, their bows eventually aimed for Hawaii. Current weather forecasts are calling for a light-air start, with only 5-10 knots from the west-northwest, so crews are bracing for a potentially sluggish start to their adventure. Get the full report, inside this issue, and stay tuned to the website for more Transpac news, as it unfurls.
And back on Long Island Sound, the inaugural Women's International Match Racing Series kicked off yesterday at the Oakcliff Sailing Center. This prestigious event will see eight of the fastest female match-racing skippers line up for four days of racing. 'Our open events have over the years always had a large number of women sailors, so it seems appropriate that Oakcliff is now hosting the only U.S. stop of the inaugural Series,' said Dawn Riley, Oakcliffe’s Executive Sailing Director. Get the full scoop, inside this issue.
Also inside, check out the reports from the Formula 18 World Championships, the PWA Pozo World Cup, as well as the latest news from U.S. Sailing’s upcoming West Coast Tour. And finally, check out Carlo Borlenghi’s awesome image gallery from Brazil’s Rolex Ilhabela Sailing Week.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor - 1:28 PM Thu 11 Jul 2013 GMT
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