America's Cup protest decision released tomorrow

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 14:40 11/07/2013

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The International Jury will announce their decision on the America's Cup protests by Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa early tomorrow morning.

The jury heard more than eight hours of evidence on Tuesday and today said their decision would be released at 6am tomorrow (NZ time).

It will be interesting to see if Luna Rossa race tomorrow.

They are due to be on the course for a solo race in the absence of Artemis at 7.15am.

They didn't race Team New Zealand last Monday in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series opener because they first wanted to hear the result of the protest.

They reasoned that racing would effectively legitimise the rules they were protesting against.

Both the Kiwis and Italians have argued that the decision by regatta organisers to allow design changes to the boats as part of the sweeping safety recommendations being introduced in the wake of the Artemis training tragedy are illegal.

They believe that only the competing syndicates can validate any changes to design by a unanimous decision, as outlined in cup rules.

They feel the changes being introduced - primarily larger rudder elevators - are performance-related rather than a safety issue and will benefit defenders Oracle who have had early struggles in this key area.

Oracle were allowed to present their arguments at the protest hearing as were Artemis who say reverting to the original rules will make it impossible for them to compete as they have built their new rudders to the recommendations made in the call for more safety.

The America's Cup organisers were also allowed to front the jury as were the United States Coast Guar, who issued the race permit for the regatta based on the total package of 37 recommendations.

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