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34th America's CupAC72ETNZGrant Dalton

Team New Zealand Spurns Big Rule Changes

//source: tvnz.co.nz/sailing-news//
The head of New Zealand's America's Cup team has sharply rejected the idea of major changes to the sailing competition's high-tech catamarans in the wake of an accident that killed a British sailor.Grant Dalton, managing director of Emirates Team New Zealand, told reporters yesterday that he supported new safety rules put forward last week by event organisers.
But he dismissed suggestions by some sailors, including members of the Artemis Racing team that suffered the accident, that big changes such as smaller sails or power-assisted on-board controls were necessary.

"That's not going to happen. That's a fundamental change to systems that if they couldn't get right in the first place, that's their problem," Dalton said before heading out for a practice session on San Francisco Bay.
Software mogul Larry Ellison won the cup in 2010, and the defending champion is entitled to choose the venue and set the rules for the next competition.
Ellison and his sailing team hoped the big, fast boats, called AC72s, would boost interest in the event, but their cost and complexity kept some competitors away, and only four teams are competing for the trophy.
The competition is scheduled to kick off in July and culminate in a final match in September.
The New Zealand team designed and built its AC72 specifically to withstand the strong gusts and currents of San Francisco Bay, Dalton said.
Making significant rule changes now that require altering the boats would be unfair, he said.
"Anything that increases the safety for the guys on board is a good thing. If it doesn't benefit one team over another then we're in favour of that," he said.
"As Artemis has shown, if you get this engineered wrong - and it's not hard, we could have yet, we just haven't seen that boundary - they just disintegrate," he said.
Dalton said the carbon-fibre boats have shown themselves to be a poor choice for the cup races.
"Much of this is a folly. There's nothing more easily seen than that there are only three teams (challenging Oracle), now sort of two and a half teams," Dalton said.

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