Oracle found guilty of spying on Luna Rossa

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:00 23/12/2012
Oracle
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SPYING: Oracle have been found guilty of attempted spying on Luna Rossa.

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America's Cup holders Oracle have been found guilty of attempted spying on Italy's Luna Rossa catamaran in Auckland.

The International Jury ruled in favour of the Italians in a decision released yesterday.

No penalty has been announced as yet.

Luna Rossa had protested that an Oracle chase boat had come within the 200m boundary enforced by Cup rules to take photos of their AC72.

Oracle team members have regularly been out on the Waitemata Harbour while Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand have been going through their 30 days of testing the giant new cats.

Oracle's defence was based on a technicality that to be "navigating" within the 200m zone, they had to be moving. Oracle argued their boat was stationary.

The jury decided otherwise and ruled that the taking of photographs during the incident was "an attempt to gain information about another competitor" and that there was no prior consent by Luna Rossa.

The jury has invited parties to make submissions on the appropriate penalty, if any.

It has also instructed Oracle to hand over to Luna Rossa and the jury all photographic material taken while the Oracle vessel was within 200 metres.

Meanwhile, Oracle's new wingsail is on its way to San Francisco from New Zealand where it has been built.

Oracle demolished their original sail in their dramatic capsize in the San Francisco Bay in October.

The new sail has been constructed at Core Builders Composites facility in Warkworth.

Oracle plan to mount the new sail on their repaired USA-17 and be back sailing in California in February.

Team New Zealand completed their 30 days of testing last week and are now continuing development in their 33-foot catamarans while their second AC72 is finished, due for launching in early February.

Luna Rossa are still working through their 30-day testing programme.

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