Despite dispute, America's Cup opens in style

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 15:03 05/07/2013
Emirates Team New Zealand
Getty Images

BIG PARTY: Members of Emirates Team New Zealand are covered with confetti at the finish of the opening ceremony for the America's Cup.

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The teams and regatta director Iain Murray set aside their differences in San Francisco today as the 34th edition of the America's Cup was officially opened.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the cup village on the city's waterfront was a typically American affair - plenty of red, white and blue and no shortage of ticker tape.

But there was a Maori flavour as Team New Zealand were introduced with cultural group Te Waka Huia providing the Kiwi colour.

The event drew a large crowd as America celebrated their annual Fourth of July festivities.

The cup ceremony also featured a touching tribute to Artemis Racing crew member Andrew Simpson who lost his life in a training accident in May.

That tragedy has cast a huge shadow over the event and the resulting safety recommendations that have been rushed through by Murray have split the syndicates on a couple of key issues.

Team New Zealand and Italy's Luna Rossa have protested moves to allow design changes on the eve of the event.

They argue the increased size of rudder elevators are a performance issue rather than a safety one.

Their protests are to be head by the International Jury on Tuesday, bizarrely a day after the two challengers square off in the opening race of the regatta.

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