With westerly winds howling between 25 and 30 knots, the International Jury for the Louis Vuitton Cup 2003 has confirmed Peter Reggio’s request for interpretation, giving the Principal Race Officer broad freedom to conduct two races per day.
After four days of postponements, the schedule for Round Robin 2 has literally been blown apart. With time running out to complete the round, Reggio yesterday sought an interpretive resolution from the International Jury regarding wording in the Louis Vuitton Cup Conditions and Notice of Race.
"We need all the flexibility we can get to get the round done,"
said Reggio (USA)
Reggio asked the Jury to interpret Conditions clauses 8.3(a)(ii), 8.3(b)(iv), 8.3(c)(iii), 8.3(d)(iv), and 8.3(e)(iii), and in particular the words "must", "shall", and "time allotted".
These conditions define how racing will be conducted. They suggest that one race per day be sailed over the standard 18.5-mile "A" course, but also provide for two races per day over the shorter 12.5-mile "B" course.
The condition, however, doesn't define when the committee should resort to conducting two races per day to get the schedule on track. The jury's interpretation offered some clear guidelines.
"It is unreasonable to expect the race committee to accurately predict how the schedule may be affected by weather, breakdowns during the first race of a two-race day and postponements at the request of competitors,"
said the statement signed by jury chairman Bryan Willis (GBR). "Therefore, the Race Committee would not be in error if it schedules two races on any race or reserve day when it judges it necessary to complete a series."
In an effort to keep the nine challenging syndicates advised of his plans, the jury also recommended that Reggio "publish an updated schedule of races to the end of the relevant series whenever a race is postponed to another day."
The jury's interpretation gives Reggio the flexibility to run two races per day without seeking consent from the syndicates. It also gives him protection against protests from syndicates that might get angered over sudden changes in the schedule.
Beginning tomorrow, 29 October, there are seven scheduled days left to complete the seven outstanding flights. Well aware of the time constraints, the syndicates have already agreed to sail two races, Flights 3 and 4, tomorrow, providing the weather is conducive to racing.
Reggio plans to attempt Flights 5 and 6 on Wednesday, 30 October, and then resume sailing one flight per day until further notice.
In a perfect world, today would've been the sixth day of racing in Round 2. In Auckland, it is the fourth consecutive day of postponed racing due to winds in excess of the prescribed limits.
Since the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup on 1 October, nine days out of a possible 21 have been postponed because of winds either too strong or too light for racing. Five days were lost in Round 1, which stretched to the first two scheduled days of Round 2.
As requested by the International Jury, the Race Committee have issued the revised schedule for the completion of Round Robin Two, (Subject to Weather Conditions).
ROUND ROBIN 2 - SCHEDULING NOTICE # 1
As of today, Monday, October 28, 2002, the Race Committee intends to complete
Round Robin 2 based on the following schedule of racing:
Tuesday, October 29, 2002
Flight #3 & Flight #4
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
Flight #5 & Flight #6
Thursday, October 31, 2002
Friday, November 1, 2002
Saturday, November 2, 2002
Sunday, November 3, 2002
Monday, November 4, 2002
CORM - Principal Race Officer