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25 November 2002, 09:04 am
Louis Vuitton Cup - Quarter Final Repechage
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©Jon Nash

America's Cup
Auckland

Early this morning a wind speed of 10 -15 knots over the course area raised hopes that the Quarter Final Repechage may at last get under way. But by midday there were ominous signs as the breeze started to die away.
With a typical wind speed of between 4-6 knots, the breeze was below limits for racing to start and Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio signaled a postponement shortly after 13:00. The remainder of the day was spent waiting in vain for the breeze to build and racing for the day was eventually abandoned at 15:44.

While the four competing teams waited for conditions to improve, on shore syndicate legal teams were analysing the latest development in the OneWorld affair.

Team Dennis Conner and the Prada Challenge made a joint submission to the America's Cup Arbitration Panel last night. In it they requested that the case of OneWorld's breach of the Protocol, for which OneWorld received a one point penalty earlier last month, be revisited.

And in yet another twist to the tale, Team Dennis Conner have today announced a protest against the Seattle Yacht Club, OneWorld Challenge under fundamental Rule 2

The submission, made today to the International Jury for the Louis Vuitton Cup and the America's Cup, requests that the OneWorld Challenge be disqualified from both events.

Rule 2, the Fair Sailing Rule, states that a boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play.

Today's protest said that yesterday's application to the arbitration panel was based on multiple violations of the Protocol that the applicants had reasonable grounds to believe the Seattle Yacht Club/OneWorld Challenge had committed. These beliefs were based on comprehensive documentary evidence.

Team Dennis Conner asked that the International Jury provide assistance to the Arbitration Panel in any manner possible. The syndicate asked that OneWorld be disqualified under Rule 2, the Fair Sailing Rule. The submission also asked the Jury take any interim measures necessary to reschedule the Quarter Final Repechage.

The day wasn't completely without excitement afloat as an impromptu tender race met with an instant fleet of nine boats, ranging from syndicate chase RIBS to a couple of Umpire Boats. The race took place on a simple out and return course.

Seconds after the starting gun was fired, it was the Team New Zealand weather boat, skippered by local expert Mike Quilter, that established a clear lead with one of the umpire boats in second place.

One the return leg, the low black zoomer from Victory Challenge managed to accelerate past the umpire boat to take second place, but was unable to challenge the runaway victory scored by Quilter. A protest from the Swedes shortly after the finish was black flagged by the umpires.

This means the best-of-seven repechage matches between OneWorld and Stars & Stripes and between Prada and Victory Challenge will start tomorrow - weather permitting.
Louis Vuitton Media/ISAF News Editor
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