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AmericaOne Report 10/26/99
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Jury Sets a Precedent by Protesting and Punishing Stars & Stripes

For Immediate Release

There was a pre-start incident in the match between AmericaOne and Stars & Stripes sailed last Saturday. Both boats hit. The on-the-water umpires penalized Stars & Stripes for breaking Rule 11.

Rule 11: On the same tack overlapped

When boats are on the same tack and overlapped, a windward boat shall keep clear of a leeward boat.

As a consequence Stars & Stripes had to execute a penalty turn. The damaged AmericaOne went on to win that race and crossed the finish line with the protest flag flying. With that flag, Cayard of AmericaOne was asking the International Jury to delay that team’s next races to be able to make repairs to his damaged boat. After a hearing, the jury granted the delay. All the races were rescheduled to Wednesday 27 October.

As a result of the evidence heard in the same hearing the jury decided to protest Stars & Stripes for a Rule 14 infringement.

Rule 14: Avoiding contact

A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible…

Paul Cayard, representing AmericaOne at that hearing, said he had not considered a Rule 14 protest against Stars & Stripes.

A hearing is a meeting of the International Jury and the parties involved. Sometimes witnesses are heard. Normally a hearing results in three things. First the facts are established, then the conclusion is based on those facts and finally the decision the jury will take. At the hearing of the jury against Stars & Stripes, the following facts were found:

· AmericaOne luffed higher than Stars & Stripes to approximately close hauled, giving Stars & Stripes room of at least six metres to keep clear.
· Stars & Stripes bore away with the intention of passing astern of AmericaOne and then held her course for two seconds before contact with AmericaOne.
· Stars & Stripes’ bow struck AmericaOne’s starboard quarter approximately two metres from her stern, causing serious damage to AmericaOne.

The jury concluded that Stars & Stripes broke Rule 14.

The jury decided to deduct half a point from Stars & Stripes’ overall score in Round Robin One. > >With this decision the jury sets a precedent emphasising that a collision resulting in serious damage should be avoided at all time. The Jury will not hesitate to punish boats that break Rule 14. The Jury has the right under match race Rule C6.3b to impose a penalty of any extent. In this case it is a light punishment but in the next Round Robin it might be more severe. Brian Willis Chairman of the International Jury explained, ‘It is coincidental that 0.5 point is half of what you can win in Round Robin One. We can decide how much we want to penalise depending on the gravity of the situation’.

C6.3b If the protest committee decides that a breach of a rule has had no significant effect on the outcome of the match it may

1. Impose a penalty of one point or part of one point,
2. order a resail or
3. make another arrangement it decides is equitable, which may be to impose no penalty.

For more information, visit the Louis Vuitton Cup website at http://www.louisvuittoncup.com or contact Bruno Troublé, Marcus Hutchinson or Keith Taylor on (+64 9) 359 1200.

About AmericaOne
AmericaOne is dedicated to recapturing the America's Cup by applying U.S. technology in aerodynamics, computer equipment, hydrodynamics, naval architecture, sail design and structural engineering to America's Cup sailboat design. Operating since June 1, 1996, AmericaOne is the challenger on behalf of San Francisco's St. Francis Yacht Club. AmericaOne technology partners and top-level sponsors include Hewlett-Packard Company, Telcordia Technologies/SAIC, Ford Motor Company/Visteon and United Technologies Corp. To learn more about AmericaOne visit: www.americaone.org.

For further information on AmericaOne, please contact: Gina von Esmarch E-mail: gvonesmarch@americaone.org / Phone: + 64 9 359 9246/Fax: + 64 9 359 9262 # # #

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