Slightly green light
The US Coast Guard has issued the America’s Cup with the Marine Event Permit required to conduct America’s Cup racing on San Francisco Bay this summer, however this comes with the big stipulation that competitors comply with the 37 Safety Recommendations made by the 'Review committee' on 23 May. Emirates Team New Zealand has filed a protest with the International Jury over three of the 37 Safety Recommendations.
For some reason the Kiwi protest is not scheduled to be heard in San Francisco until Monday, 8 July, which is AFTER racing for the Louis Vuitton Cup is scheduled to start on 7 July!
“This is an important and necessary step for the America’s Cup,” said Iain Murray, Regatta Director for the America’s Cup on the issues of the permit. “I’d like to thank the United States Coast Guard and all of the other organisations and agencies who have helped the America’s Cup get to this point where we are ready to conduct racing, starting with the fleet parade and time trials on July 5, and the first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup, America’s Cup Challenger Series, on July 7.”
Significantly the Marine Event Permit ('MEP') requires the implementation of a Safety Plan that incorporates the 37 Safety Recommendations made by the Regatta Director following the fatal capsize of Artemis Racing last month.
After receiving the MEP on Friday, Murray issued a Regatta Notice (see below) to the competitors advising them that the MEP had been issued, and giving effect to the 37 Safety Recommendations, which now rank as rules for the Regatta, and allowing the Regatta to commence on schedule.
After the fatal accident on 9 May 2013, and after the safety review initiated by the America’s Cup Trustee (GGYC) with the support of all Competitors, on 22 May 2013 I issued an extensive list of 37 Safety Recommendations. All Competitors agreed with those 37 Safety Recommendations when issued.
After further review, consultation and mediation, the Safety Recommendations have been further detailed by Supplementary Safety Recommendations, including the language necessary to give them effect as rules for the 34th America’s Cup Regatta ('Regatta').
The Competitors have not unanimously agreed the necessary rule changes to the AC72 Class Rules to implement all Safety Recommendations. After extensive consultation and mediation there is little prospect the rule changes will receive the required level of support from all Competitors to put them into effect by the usual procedures.
Event Permit Issued
The US Coast Guard has now issued an event permit dated June, 28 2013 for the Regatta as scheduled ('the Permit'). The terms and conditions of the Permit must be complied with if the Regatta is to proceed.
The Permit requires implementation of the Safety Plan submitted to the US Coast Guard as part of the application for the Permit. The Safety Plan includes the Safety Recommendations and the Supplemental Safety Recommendations. To comply with the conditions of the Permit to allow the Regatta to proceed in a safe manner in compliance with local laws, I have applied the provisions of Protocol Article 16, and the provisions of Protocol Article 13.2. Accordingly, the AC72 Class Rule is hereby amended with immediate effect for this Regatta with the changes marked in the document attached to this Regatta Notice marked “Attachment A”. I have advised the Measurement Committee of these amendments made under the provisions of Articles 16 and 13.2. The Measurement Committee has affirmed to me that it will be undertaking its duties, including the issuance of measurement certificates based on the amended AC72 Class Rule as set out in this Regatta Notice.
I acknowledge a Competitor anticipating of this Notice, has made application to the Jury and that the application is pending.
This Regatta Notice has not been made lightly, nor without due consideration of the impact on, and the possible consequences for, each Competitor and the organizer.
I have exercised my professional judgment to the best of my ability, and have weighed carefully the unfortunate circumstances thrust upon us including (as a paramount consideration) the need to increase the safety of our crews, the officials and other Bay users, as well as the investment made by Competitors and all other stakeholders in this event. Safety is not a multiple-choice selection from which Competitors pick and choose. I have issued this Regatta Notice as being in the best collective interests of the America’s Cup as a long-standing institution in and at the pinnacle of our sport.