TNZ focused through latest America's Cup dispute
PUBLISHED: 8:07AM Thursday June 27, 2013 Source: ONE Sport
Twelve days out from the scheduled start of racing, the America's Cup could be headed to the courtroom instead of the start line.
Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa are fighting a propsed rule change that would benefit Cup defender Oracle, wary it is being slipped in under the guise of a safety recommendation.
Since the fatal capsize of Artemis six weeks ago, a raft of safety recommedations has been drawn up, most of which all the teams have agreed to.
The sticking point is over wings or elevators on the rudders of the AC72s, which help control the catamarans when they are flying on their foils and which, under the original design rules, can't be adjusted during racing.
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"You can look at these things like a plane and what Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa have been doing is their plane basically flies and is trimmed using only the elevators on the main wing," explains Sail World NZ editor Richard Gladwell.
"Oracle's boat comes out using what is the main wing, plus the ones they've got on the tail and the way the rules are, they say you can only use the elevators on the main wing."
Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa were designed with bigger bows to cope with those restrictions and then refined to foil successfully and safely.
If they'd been allowed adjustable elevators, they could have built a slimmer, more aerodynamic boat like Oracle's.
"If they had known about that back last year, the could have done something quite different with their boat," says Gladwell.
The argument is that Oracle is now trying to the retrospective sanction for the bigger adjustable elevators and they're the safety recommendations to get that rule change through.
Team New Zealand are trying to keep eyes on the ball, after the bow sprit controversay on NZL20 in San Diego derailed the Kiwi challenge in 1992.
"Team New Zealand has some history in getting bogged down on some of these problems over the years, so a few of us are just working on the issues around rules and trying not to get too distracted with it," says TNZ boss Grant Dalton.
Luna Rossa say they're prepared to go to court if the rules change.
Twelve days out from its scheduled start and the Americas Cup could be heading to the supreme court instead of the start line.
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