Tempers fray in dramatic day of sailing at Cowes

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The Independent Online

Passion boiled over, a rare penalty for abuse was the result, but Britain's Jaguar-backed Team Origin whacked the America's Cup holders BMW Oracle to win the 1851 Cup regatta in Cowes.

Consolation for the American team came in the form of the Royal Thames Cup when winning Thursday’s race round the Isle of Wight, but, in the all-important shorter match races for the Trafalgar Cup, Origin posted a 6-2 scoreline.

Origin, after winning the start of the first of three races in Stokes Bay, was in a tight situation at the top turning mark and appealed to umpire Bill Edgerton, who waved them away.

The volley of fruity reaction was loud. Edgerton was overheard saying: "I'm not having that" and promptly blasted the Brits with his whistle and waved a penalty flag for "dissent". Ben Ainslie, skipper of Origin, accepted his yellow card, though his was not the only voice that those nearby claimed to hear, and, with a smile on his face, added later that, of course, any question of parentage was all aimed at his navigator, Juan Vila.

The next two went to a clearly superior British outfit, which appears to have been strengthened by the addition of four times Cup-winning Kiwi Simon Daubney to the sail trimming department.

Daubney, who has Warwick Fleury alongside him, was one of Oracle ceo Russell Coutts' "tight five" and both of them are due to be inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame next month.

The proposed World Sailing Teams Association regatta in January, scheduled for Hong Kong in January as part of the Louis Vuitton Trophy series, has been cancelled. The America's Cup teams involved will know by then the venue, date and type of boat and will be concentrating on that.

At the very least they need to know the type of boat in the protocol due to be published by 31 August. It is clear that the fate of the America's Cup teams in Audi Medcup is also in the hands of Russell Coutts and BMW Oracle. If the Cup is going into multihulls then that is where the training budget, as well as the design and research budgets, will go.

Eight teams are due to race at the Louis Vuitton regatta in Dubai in November, but Oracle has made it clear that all team wishing to enter the next Cup will, as part of the participation agreement, be required to race at six regattas next year and in 2012.

They will also need to know whether they will be using supplied equipment or will be working towards building their own new boats.