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Prada Challenge Seeks Arbitration Panel Assistance

Prada Challenge Seeks Arbitration Panel Assistance To Resolve Rules Dispute

Italy’s Prada Challenge, representing the Yacht Club Punta Ala, has formally applied to the America’s Cup Arbitration Panel for help in resolving two disputed elements of the Sailing Instructions for the 30th Match for the America’s Cup.

Despite intense efforts over recent weeks, representatives of the Prada Challenge have been unable to reach agreement with Team New Zealand, the America’s Cup Defenders for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, on a draft of the Sailing Instructions. Drawn up by Team New Zealand, the draft calls for onboard Umpires (observers), and requires that any penalties incurred during racing should be cleared with immediate penalty turns (International Yacht Racing Rules, Appendix C8).

The America’s Cup Challenge Association (ACCA) filed a brief on Prada’s behalf with the Panel on Sunday, 13 February. The first race for the America’s Cup is set for Saturday, 19 February.

The Arbitration Panel will meet on Thursday afternoon, 17 February to consider the application. In a notice issued on Monday, 14 February, Sir David Tompkins of the Arbitration Panel requested submissions or evidence from Team New Zealand by 5:00 PM local time on Wednesday 16 February. Tompkins also invited submissions from the International Jury, with the same deadline.

In its application, ACCA said the Challenger strongly disagreed with the two disputed paragraphs, which were “entirely inconsistent with the Match conditions.”

“Despite continuing efforts to negotiate a common position on both issues, the Challenger and the Defender remain in disagreement on both provisions,” the ACCA filing said. ACCA, through its Executive Director Dyer Jones, called for the Panel to rule against the two provisions, excluding them from the Match Sailing Instructions.

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