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18 May 2013
Sail-World New Zealand: May 17, 2013 - Artemis aftermath
Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for May17, 2013
The aftermath of the Artemis Racing incident continues to dominate the sailing news, and in fact gathers pace.
A second America's Cup Teams Meeting is being held Friday in San Francisco. Luna Rossa owner, and long time America's cup campaigner, Patrizio Bertelli is flying in for the meeting. Earlier in the week, he had some fairly blunt comments to make to La Stampa, a leading Italian newspaper. We have those remarks in this edition of sail-World.com
Then late Friday night (New Zealand time), all teams were recommended by the six person Review Committee to suspend racing, until next Wednesday. That date is May 22nd, Emirates Team New Zealand were scheduled to start sailing on May 23rd in San Francisco. Luna Rossa had been expected to have been sailing ahead of the latest suspension.
This follows a voluntary suspension by Oracle Team USA, for initially three days following Andrew Simpson's death, then extended for a week, and now effectively for a further six days - giving a total time away from racing of almost a fortnight, and that is assuming that they sail again from next Wednesday.
The Review Committee, to look at all aspects of the 34th America's Cup, but particularly those affecting safety - both within the event, as well as the boats themselves, following the structural breakup of Artemis Racing.
Grounding the fleet is normal practice with an aircraft incident, until is ascertained whether the fault lies with just one operator, or with all planes of that type.
The Committee can only recommend. The real teeth lie with the US Coast Guard who must issue Special Local Regulations ahead of the event being held. These SLR's are effectively the conditions under which the event is permitted to take place, or a Permit, in everyday language.
Quite what these SLR's will contain is a matter of conjecture, but clearly the reason for having the US Coast Guard in a close liaison role with the Review Committee is to try and ensure that the event can in fact be conducted under the terms set by the US Coast Guard. It would come as a surprise to those outside of the US, that with less than 50 days to run until the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup, those regulations are not already agreed and published.
Much has been made of comments from Tony Outteridge, father of Nathan Outteridge, the helmsman of Artemis Racing, and published in the Australian newspaper, the Newcastle Herald. Artemis Racing, along with Event organisers have gone to some pains to claim that the events described did not occur, most sailing media that did republish either withdrew of retracted.
Sail-World contacted the newspaper and has had several conversations with the reporter involved, and has obtained a transcript of the interview between Tony Outteridge and the journalist. All we can say at this stage is that the Newcastle Herald was very restrained in what it published. An Australian television news story also aired with some of the comments repeated on camera, others were paraphrased by the reporter.
We expect further developments in the coming hours, and days, on the future of the America's Cup, the teams and individuals.
A key to the future lies with Emirates Team NZ, being the most experienced team with the AC72 type, and how they cope with sailing on San Francisco Bay. If they handle it with the same ease they have done on the Hauraki Gulf in winds of 30knots or more, then the situation will become very interesting.
On the New Zealand sailing front, plenty is happening both on the water in New Zealand and overseas, and on the land with the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show.
The first two days of the show have concluded, and we haven't moved outside the Sailing Hall which is just the best and a real credit to the clubs, classes and Yachting New Zealand who have really got behind the Show, and produced a new jewel in the New Zealand crown.
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