The dramatic finish that saw GBR Challenge pipped at the post has been reversed in the protest room
The America’s Cup is noted for, and occasionally blighted by, its litigious nature. Although things didn’t get quite that bad today, the Protest Committee was called upon to hear a complaint lodged by GBR Challenge skipper and Sailing Manager, Ian Walker.
He claimed that in the final approach to the finish line, GBR-52 was forced outside the outer distance mark by Luna Rossa despite repeated requests for water. The Committee found in GBR Challenge’s favour and Prada’s sleek grey Luna Rossa was disqualified from today’s race, leaving GBR-52 with another win to add to yesterday’s first and second places.
Peter Harrison and his team will be delighted to find themselves topping the ACC table after three scoring races against the defenders and the most recent challengers for the America’s Cup. Their foray into the protest room will also clearly convey the message that GBR Challenge is more than prepared to follow any avenue to victory, there are no meaningless races for Walker and his crews.
While Prada’s defeat is a genuine laurel on GBR Challenge’s jaunty caps, Team New Zealand’s performance is outrageous. They are sailing the 1995 Cup winner NZL-32, a boat that is five years older than those of GBR Challenge and Prada, but a boat also designed for conditions off San Diego, markedly different to those in the Solent which resemble more closely those in Hauraki Gulf.