Sailing: OneWorld avoid ban

An America's Cup arbitration panel handed the United States challengers OneWorld a stiff penalty yesterday but stopped short of disqualifying them for breaking Cup rules by having boat design secrets from other teams.

OneWorld will have one point taken from them for each remaining stage of the regatta. The five-man panel also ordered the team to pay costs of $65,000 (£42,000) before Monday.

Prada, of Italy, and Team Dennis Conner lodged protests last month seeking OneWorld's disqualification for allegedly possessing and using design secrets taken from other teams. OneWorld later beat Team Dennis Conner 4-0 to reach the semi-finals, where they will face Prada in a best-of-seven series. Each race is worth one point.

Conner, who has been involved in nine of the 31 America's Cups there have been since 1870, expressed his dissatisfaction with the verdict saying: "Call me a dinosaur, but in the old days, if you broke the rules you were thrown out. Maybe it's time for me to stop."

Racing in the semi-finals was due to begin yesterday but was postponed until today because of strong winds in the Hauraki Gulf.

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