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+39 Challenge Denied

Valencia, 28 June, 2006 – The Jury for the 32nd America’s Cup has denied a Request for Redress by +39 Challenge. The Italian team had claimed that its overall ranking after the Round Robin was made ‘significantly worse’ after the Race Committee broke a three way tie between Team Shosholoza, Areva Challenge and +39 Challenge in favour of the South African team. This dropped +39 Challenge into the third division.

The Italians claimed the Race Committee employed the wrong method to break the tie. +39 Challenge believed Louis Vuitton Act 12 to be a discrete event, and that the tie should have been considered unbreakable. In that case, the Racing Rules of Sailing call for either a ‘sail-off’ or a draw to resolve the tie (RRS C11.3).

But the Jury ruled that the Race Committee did in fact follow the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS C11.1) when it referred back to results in Louis Vuitton Act 11 in breaking the deadlock and that the provisional results should stand.

The case hinged on the definition of the word ‘event’. The Jury ruled the word ‘event’ is defined in the Protocol for the 32nd America’s Cup as meaning “all Pre-regattas”, and thus, Louis Vuitton Act 11 is in fact a previous stage of the event, as referenced in the Rules. Therefore, the Race Committee was correct in the way it broke the three way tie.

The ruling means the Round Robin results for Louis Vuitton Act 12 are now confirmed and the pairing list established last night is correct.

Friday’s matches

Racing in the semi-finals is scheduled to begin on Friday afternoon. Each semi-final series will be won by the first team to earn two points. The results from the round robin aren’t carried forward.

“Even though we have won the round robin, a couple of poor races could mean that we finish the regatta in third or fourth place,” observed Grant Dalton, after his Emirates Team New Zealand emerged top of the table with a perfect round robin record.

On Wednesday evening, the top skipper in each division chose his opponent for the semi-final matches, with Kiwi skipper Dean Barker surprising many when he elected to face BMW ORACLE Racing. Emirates Team New Zealand has won three of the five previous contests between the two dating back to last season.

Desafío Español selected Shosholoza, a team it has beaten in four of five previous matches, while Areva Challenge chose China Team. The French are 4-1 against the Chinese.

In the other top division pairing, Alinghi is matched with Luna Rossa Challenge. The Swiss defender is just 3-2 against the Italians. Similarly, Mascalzone Latino-Capitalia Team holds a 3-2 edge over Victory Challenge, while +39 Challenge has never lost in five previous matches against the Germans.

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