America's Cup: Jury Rules Regatta Director Doesn't Have as Much Power as He Thought
America's Cup regatta Director, Iain Murray, has overstepped his role -- says the jury of the International Sailing Federation. The jury, which was reviewing protests to two of the sweeping safety measure changes Murray stipulated a week before the race was set to begin, decided in favor of the Italian team Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand.
The rules in question were about rudder wing size, which Murray said needed to be larger and heavier for safety. Murray submitted the safety measure changes to the U.S. Coast Guard in part because of the fatal capsizing of a Swedish boat in May, and USCG provided the regatta's permit on the basis of all those changes.
But, the jury found that in changing the rudder wing rules Murray was making a class rule change, something that a regatta director cannot do without a vote by every participant.
It's not clear yet if the jury's ruling will mean the permit is yanked, or if the race put on hold until a new proposal can be submitted and approved.
In earlier statements, Murray has said that if the jury overturned the rudder wing rule he didn't think the race would be safe.
The Kiwis and Italians however, maintain that there is no safety issue and that the changes would give teams with different boat designs an unfair advantage.