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28 May 2013
Sail-World New Zealand: May 23, 2013 - Luna Rossa makes running
Off the water silence in San Francisco, following the fatal AC72 training accident two weeks ago, was broken firstly by the Italian Challenger Luna Rossa, on Saturday, and again today with the release of a report recommending 37 changes to the AC72 class and safety rules.
Over the weekend (NZT), team principal. Patrizio Bertelli, showed real leadership in the crisis, with a carefully staged media conference at the team's base in Alameda, San Francisco.
Having given his team the option of pulling out of the regatta, the Italian team showed their confidence in their boat by electing to continue in the 34th America's Cup, and stood as a team behind Mr Bertelli as he addressed the gathered media through an interpreter.
His was a class act.
Patrizio Bertelli Luna Rossa Press Conference in Alameda-San Francisco
Luna Rossa / Carlo Borlenghi
Today a report from the Review Committee Chairman, Iain Murray was released. It contained nothing on the causes of the Artemis incident and fatality, but did have a list of safety and some rule changes to the AC72 class.
A key point was the reduction of the wind limits, but still these are above those prevailing on May 9.
Some of the changes are to the class rules which require the approval of all competitors. there are new rules in respect of Rudder Elevators. The first recommendation is that competitors work with ACRM to the verify the structural integrity of the wings and platforms. The second requires the checking of the daggerboard rake and hydraulic control systems to ensure safety margins and reliability.
Given a little reflection, both proposals are interesting in their direction and application..
The rest of the changes underline how the safety game has changed from being what would have been standard practice in a yacht race, to what is standard practice in an offshore powerboat race. And bear in mind too, that for all the safety measures, there were two deaths in powerboat racing in 2012.
Luna Rossa further demonstrated that they were their own men, when they sailed their AC72 on San Francisco Bay ignoring the recommendation of the Review Committee that none of the teams should be sailing AC45's or AC72's for a further week (due to end on May 22). Given that in their public release the Review Committee gave no reason for their recommendation. One can also assume from the Italian's actions that the reasons, if any, given in the Teams Meeting a day earlier, can't have been particularly compelling either.
Emirates Team NZ was not affected, being in the final stages of assembly of their AC72, due to sail in the next day or so. Oracle Team USA lost further training time with the delays starting back on April 18 - 21 with the America's Cup World Series in Naples, followed by serving their five day no-sailing penalty imposed by the jury for a Protocol infringement, and then the two weeks lost since May 9, when Artemis capsized their AC72.
Artemis has now been hauled from the water. A statement was issued today on their initial plans which is carried in this edition of Sail-World.com's newsletter. Their second AC72 is at their base in the Seaplane Lagoon in Alameda.
We have an exclusive gallery of images of Artemis Racing's AC72 being hauled out, which shows the substantial damage. the images don't really show the cause of the accident, save for a broken mainbeam, and the port hull broken away from the platform at the point it is tied to the aft cross beam.
Finn class Delta Lloyd Regatta Medemblik (NED) Delta Lloyd Regatta
The Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show has come and gone with a near-record attendance, and the feedback on the sailing side was very positive.
Just last year Roger and Chris Kitchen and the team from Weta Boats decided to put together a sailing hall at the Boat Show, and managed to get it half full. This year the sailing hall was almost full, and plans next year are for it to be filled completely.
Certainly the boats on show from Optimists to 18fters looked very impressive. Fans had a unique opportunity to see the two NZ medal winning yachts from the 2012 Olympics. And there was plenty of activities for kids to get involved in - with spinnaker hoisting and packing - and trapezing on a Viper catamaran. It is a great way to sell the sport, and the looks on the kids faces said it all.
The Blackmatch Racing team are back in action again, this time under the banner of Team Alpari. In their first serious outing since 2009, when they were World Champions, the team placed second in a shortened Match Race Germany, the first event on the 2013 Tour.
We have reports from the team in this edition of Sail-World.com
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