Wannabe Sailing Bum
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linkDirector threatens to scuttle America's Cup
In the latest twist to the contentious America's Cup, regatta director Iain Murray threatened Wednesday to scuttle the competition unless his safety recommendations are upheld by the Cup's international jury.
The five-member jury is scheduled to meet Monday to hear a protest by Emirates Team New Zealand and Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge over Murray's recommendation to require larger, heavier rudder elevators.
Rudder elevators are the winglets on the base of the rudder blades that help control the pitch of the boat. The configuration of the elevators is the only unresolved part of 37 recommendations Murray made after the death of British sailor Andrew "Bart" Simpson when the Artemis Racing boat capsized May 9.
If the jury agrees with New Zealand and Luna Rossa and allows their original, smaller elevators, Murray said, he'll go back to the Coast Guard, which issued a racing permit this week, and say he doesn't think the racing would be safe.
In that case, the Coast Guard would almost certainly withdraw its permit. "Without a permit to race on San Francisco Bay, there will be no regatta," Murray said.
A Coast Guard spokesman confirmed that a new safety plan would have to be formulated for the event to go on.
"We would have to talk to the America's Cup officials, but they would need a new plan," Chief Petty Officer Mike Lutz said.
Dalton said larger elevators are not "necessary or safe at all." In Murray's recommended changes, the elevators would extend beyond the width of the boat, Dalton said. If a crew member fell over the side, he said, the elevator could cut him in half.
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