The controversial rule change on rudder design led to a first yesterday - Team NZ raced itself while the Italian team Luna Rossa sat the race out in protest.
Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand are protesting a late change in boat design rules based around new rudder dimensions they claim are illegal, and favour defenders Oracle. They also claim that this rule changed affects them immediately but gives Oracle until September to deal with the issue - an unfair advantage.
Both sides wanted the issue to be decided before they raced, but Cup Organisers said the jury "sets its own schedule". So,
Team NZ now see regaining the Auld Mug as a personal crusade. Grant Dalton vows, "this will not happen on our watch".
The Kiwis are desperate to take the cup back to New Zealand and restore its credibility by imposing smaller budgets, more sensible boats, and a regatta free of the latest legal wrangles that are sinking the 34th edition before it even starts. In their view, the Americas Cup has lost much-needed credibility.
The "Fiasco in 'Frisco" has worn thin with the Kiwis. "I can tell you that this will not happen on our watch," Dalton said.
He admitted huge frustration and felt the regatta was "off the rails".
"Does it annoy me? It seriously pisses me off. But we can only control what we can control.
"It's completely ridiculous, totally ridiculous. But what do we do? Do we shut up shop and go because it's ridiculous? Or do we go, ‘we are only here for one reason, the America's Cup, and focus on the job'?"
Dalton was disappointed in Luna Rossa's approach, bit added. "Luna Rossa have told me they aren't pulling out (of the regatta). They are making a statement at the moment. They have a great team. They are good guys, they are straight, and you have to look quite hard to find straight people in this game at the moment," Dalton said.
Dalton wanted to bank the necessary three points against Luna Rossa quickly - even the "cheap points" like tomorrow offers - so his team can then refocus on the development of the boat, put on ice as they worked through the adjustments required under the extensive new safety regulations over the past month.
"I'm just frustrated, because we have done everything by the book. We may get penalised for getting ahead of the game . . . good old Kiwi ingenuity has come to the fore here.
"Really, in the end, we just want to go racing and we want to ultimately race against Oracle . . . who are probably sitting down their in their compound laughing like drains at this because this doesn't affect anything they do until September, and we have to deal with this now in July."
You can find the solo race on this link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/8890444/Team-NZ-race-themselves-in-Americas-Cup
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