Saturday, May 29, 2010

BMW Oracle and Emirates Team NZ to re-sail their match

[Source: Louis Vuitton Trophy] In the interest of fairness, the Race Committee has decided to abandon Friday's match between BMW ORACLE Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand. The race will be re-sailed at a later date.

In Friday's match, the Kiwis had been penalised by the Umpires on the final run to the finish for not maintaining enough tension on their forestay. The penalty came under an amendment to the Sailing Instructions that had been issued Friday morning with the intent of ensuring the safety of the rigs. Although Team New Zealand had a request for redress denied by the International Jury following the race, it was clear the Umpires and Jury weren't satisfied with the result.

"This was a hard rule," said Bill Edgerton, the chief Umpire. "After consultation with the sailors this morning, the organising authority decided this was an unworkable rule and it was rescinded. So effectively, Team New Zealand was penalised for a rule which now doesn't exist. At the hearing last night, we couldn't give them redress because of the way the Rules (Racing Rules of Sailing) are written. But we made a strong recommendation to the Race Committee that the race should be abandoned."

The re-sail adds another match for Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio to fit into a crowded racing schedule.

"The race now gets slotted into the schedule at the earliest opportunity. Hopefully on Sunday," Reggio said. "I know this can look a little confusing, but to us and to the sailors, this is what is necessary for the event. This is a sailor's event and we want to get it right."

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