Spying accusations stoke America's Cup rivalries

 

Spying is set to spark new battle lines in the America’s Cup as tempers fray on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. At odds are the €90m Italian team Luna Rossa, backed by the Prada luxury goods house, and the San Francisco-based, Lord knows how many millions Oracle team, holders of the cup and backed by computer software billionaire Larry Ellison.

Spying has been going on forever as rival teams assess the performance of their competitors – if Oracle is indeed spying on Luna Rossa it will also be spying on Team New Zealand (TNZ) and if it is not it would be astonishing.

But there are rules, one of which says that anyone using cameras or performance measuring equipment should respect a 200-metre exclusion zone.

It is encroaching within 200 metres that is at the heart of the latest row. Luna Rossa will not say of it has lodged an official protest, Oracle will not say if it has been protested officially, but a source conformed that an official protest has been lodged with the international jury chaired by Australian David Tillett. TNZ is maintaining silence with a wry smile.

In an amusing aside, a senior local observer said that, at times, the boat being used by Oracle’s men in the field was not fast enough to keep up with Luna Rossa. It is assumed that the specification of the chase boat was not based on the performance of the Oracle Cup boat.

The search for a winning design path for the new 72-foot wing-powered catamarans which will be used for America’s Cup 34’s next year is all-important. The Swedish challenger Artemis has failed in a second attempt to seek a ruling that Team New Zealand’s interpretation and corroboration by the measurement committee is incorrect. Luna Rossa is sharing the TNZ hull design.

At least Artemis can again sail its boat in San Francisco after being damaged in initial trials. Oracle is not attempting to repair the wing of its first boat, trashed when USA17 capsized near the Golden Gate Bridge. The second wing is due to arrive from Auckland mid-January, so sailing may resume end-January/early February, Oracle has two months in hand as it does not have race until September, whereas TNZ, the Italians and the Swedes begin the Louis Vuitton Cup on 4 July, the winner going through to be the sole challenger.

In the Atlantic, 2004-05 winner Vincent Riou became the seventh of the 20 starters to retire from the Vendée Globe singlehanded non-stop round the world race. His new boat, PRB, hit a free-floating navigation buoy off Brazil.

Race rules allow competitors to make repairs but they cannot accept outside assistance. A gash in the hull was made worse by damage to rigging which holds up the mast, weakening it so much that Riou was forced reluctantly to turn the bow of his new PRB to Bahia de Salvador and out of the race.

At the front of the fleet, Armel le Cleac’h continues to lead past the St. Helena high pressure zone but Alex Thomson has moved up to fourth, having passed Switzerland’s Bernard Stamm with Britain’s Mike Golding in sixth, but 220 miles behind Stamm.

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect