Team New Zealand scored a victory in the legal minefield that is starting to envelope the America's Cup with defenders Oracle withdrawing their trespassing claims against the Kiwis.
Oracle this week complained to the international jury that Team New Zealand and the Italian syndicate Luna Rossa had spied on two of their AC45 catamarans that are about to be used for the Youth America's Cup.
Team New Zealand described Oracle's allegations as laughable.
And so it proved with Oracle withdrawing the protest at a preliminary hearing of the international jury today.
Team New Zealand felt Oracle's move was a smokescreen to try to counter the serious allegations Sir Russell Coutts is facing after admitting some members of the American syndicate tampered with the 45-foot boats they used to win the last two world series.
That jury hearing, where Oracle are facing two charges, will be held early next week and could have major ramifications for the defence of the America's Cup.
Fines, bans, or loss of race points loom for Oracle if they are found guilty of "gross misconduct", an allegation that the jury has found worthy of a full investigation.
- © Fairfax NZ News