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America's Cup- Jury Hearing ends without resolution in Rules impasse

by Sail-World on 9 Jul 2013
34th America’s Cup - Jury Meeting, July 8. The five person Jury have their backs to the camera, with the teams in front of them ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

The International Jury has heard evidence and questioned parties in the applications brought against the Regatta Director by Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge 2013.

Arguments were heard from both applicants, plus America’s Cup Race Management, the America’s Cup Event Authority, Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing. US Coast Guard representatives were called as witnesses and the Measurement Committee was also represented at the hearing.

At issue is the implementation of Regatta Director Iain Murray’s 37 Safety Recommendations as Rules of the event. The applicants are arguing that Murray does not have the authority to impose some of his recommendations, specifically those which have the effect of changing the AC72 Class Rule, which requires the unanimous approval of all teams.

Changes to the Protocol which govern the terms under which the Match will be conducted require a simple majority to be passed.

If the voting threshold if not reached, then the existing rules remain.

The teams have agreed on 34 of the 37 measures. Believed to be at issue are rules drafted by Iain Murray, regarding the size shape and adjustability of rudder elevators, together with another rule on the ways that boat weight can be increased by 100kg.

Murray has always maintained safety is his only concern and his process for implementing the recommendations, including them in the Coast Guard issued Marine Event Permit, believing he was entitled to do so under the Rules of the Event.

The changes were subject to over four days of Mediation by two members of the International Jury, and failed to get agreement.

The International Jury will consider the eight and a half hours of evidence it has heard today and is expected to issue its decision before the weekend, when Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand are due to race again in Round 2 of the Louis Vuitton Cup.

Luna Rossa elected not race in the first round, on a matter of principle of not wanting to have their application determined retrospectively.

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