Friday, 5 February 2010

America's Cup: First International Jury Decisions

Following the hearings of Cases AC33/01 and AC33/02 by the international jury on Monday February 1st and Tuesday February 2nd, the jury decisions have now been published

Image © Consorcio Valencia.

by America's Cup media

The decisions relating to Case 01/1 Incorrect Rules Precedence, 01/2 Changing the Rules to Outlaw Wind Detection Equipment, 01/3 Failure to Mutually Agree the Starting Times, 01/4 Imposing Wind and Wave Limits That Directly Affect SNG’s Own Yacht, and 01/5 Imposing Rules Regarding Skin Friction Reduction have all now been published in full.

For Case AC33/02, relating to the position and volume of water ballast on board when the boat is measured, a summary of their decision has been published in advance of their full reasoning which is expected later today (Wednesday).

The full texts are available in the section Regatta Documents.

Here is a round up of the decisions published, some key extracts and the net effect.

01/1 Incorrect Rules Precedence

Decision: The Request is upheld. The OA/RC are directed to issue an amendment deleting NoR 1.2 and SI 1.2, and replacing them with ‘The Deed of Gift shall prevail over any other conflicting rule’.

In effect: the Deed of Gift prevails, so precedent falls to the Racing Rules of Sailing.

Reasons given (key extract from 5):

“ The RRS is the document that empowers the publication of the NoR and SI. The RRS are clear that some of its rules may not be changed by the SI. To give precedence to the NoR and SI over the RRS may result in conflict between the rules of the event. Such a conflict may give rise to the possibility that a boat’s score could be made significantly worse through no fault of her own.”

01/2 Wind Detection Equipment

Decision: Jury has allowed the request to be withdrawn.

In effect: mutual consent reached to amend NoR, the on board wind detection equipment is permitted

Reasons given (key extract from 5):

“ ........The parties advised the Jury they had mutually agreed in satisfaction of this request that NoR 14.2(d) (which previously read “lasers, radar or other detection equipment for measuring the relative position of the opponents yacht, other vessels and obstructions; and.....”) will be deleted and replaced with: (d) onboard lasers, radar or other detection equipment operated solely from onboard; and.....’ “

01/3 Failure to Mutually Agree on Start Time....

Decision: The Request is denied.

In effect: published start time is deemed appropriate, 10:06 is ‘reasonable’ and ‘appropriate’

Reasons given: (key extracts from six)

“...... the clause in the Deed does not require the parties to agree a time for the start; rather it allows the Defender to delay naming its vessel until an agreed start time for the first race. If no start time is agreed then the OA has no alternative but to set a start time to facilitate a Match.

The OA had engaged with the Challenger and attempted to agree a start time. USA had wanted an afternoon start time. No agreement was reached.

The Jury is of the opinion that in the absence of agreement as to a first race start time, the OA has the responsibility to set appropriate start times.

The OA has set a scheduled start time of 10:06.”

Request 01/4: Imposing wind and wave limit

Decision: Redress is granted. NoR 6.7 Deleted.

In Effect: No wind and wave limit imposed, down to RC’s discretion

Reasons given: (key extracts from three)

.......” the RRS contain adequate provisions for a RC to delay starting a race because boats are unlikely to complete the course within the time limit, or because of safety concerns. After the start the RC may ‘abandon the race because of foul weather’ or ‘because of insufficient wind making it unlikely that any boat will finish within the time limit’ or ‘for any other reason directly affecting the safety or fairness of the competition.’ (RRS 32.1)

........Jury concurs with the view of USA that to impose wind and wave height limits, which are not provided for in the Deed, without the consent of the Challenger is an improper action that may result in a boat’s score being made significantly worse through no fault of her own.”

Request 01/5: Request to Impose Rules Regarding Skin Friction Reduction

Decision: Request denied

In effect: The skin friction reduction technology is permitted

33rd America's Cup

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