Regatta Director threatens to cancel America’s Cup

Published on July 3rd, 2013

(July 3, 2013) 13:48 PDT — In the latest twist to the contentious America’s Cup, regatta director Iain Murray threatened Wednesday to scuttle the competition unless his safety recommendations are upheld by the Cup’s international jury.

The five-member jury is scheduled to meet Monday to hear a protest by Emirates Team New Zealand and Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge over Murray’s recommendation regarding rudder elevators.

The dispute is nothing out of the ordinary for the America’s Cup.

Legal wrangling has been a long-standing element of its history, which dates to 1851. As the event approaches its San Francisco debut, it has been beset by accidents, the death of a sailor, disputes over the rules and questions about the viability of racing on 72-foot catamarans in the first place.

The rudder elevators are the winglets on the base of the rudder blades that help control the pitch of the boat. The configuration of the elevators is the only remaining unresolved part of Murray’s 37 recommendations following the death of British sailor Andrew Simpson when Artemis Racing capsized on May 9.

If the jury agrees with New Zealand and Luna Rossa, Murray said he’ll go back to the Coast Guard, which issued a racing permit this week, and say he doesn’t think the racing would be safe.

In that case, the Coast Guard would almost certainly withdraw its permit. “Without a permit to race on San Francisco Bay, there will be no regatta,” Murray said.

The Coast Guard could not immediately be reached for comment. – SF Chronicle, read on

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