It's Still 2-2...

The Emirates TNZ protest against Alinghi has been dismissed by a majority verdict of the Jury. The reasons are still to be given.

Backstory: The New Zealand protest came about after the measurement committee requested at the end of race four, via Peter Reggio’s race committee, that both boats demonstrate that they could comply with ACC rule 31.6…

31.6: Mainsails shall be able to be lowered to the deck without the necessity of a crew member going aloft.

The main is normally hoisted on a spinnaker halyard, then put on the mainsail lock. Normally, the bowman would go up to the top and reattach the halyard, before the lock is released, so the main can be lowered under control. The boats were being asked to do it without reattaching the spinnaker halyard, and - which is the point - prove that the halyard lock can be fired off from the deck, without any assistance from the man at the top of the rig.

It's essentially a safety rule, if they get caught in really bad conditions and it's dangerous to put a man up the rig, they need to know that they can still get the mainsail down.

The Kiwi mainsail came down just fine, but Alinghi sent a man aloft… It was all captured by the increasingly impressive tv directors, and you can see some still shots from those fine people at right here.

At the post-race press conference, Murray Jones (who runs the rig department at Alinghi as well as being the wind spotter) told the assembled that Alinghi had asked the measurer doing the check if they could put the halyard on. The idea being that when the lock was fired off, the sail didn't fall down the mast too quickly and potentially break battens or do some damage. The measurement committee apparently said ok, and they didn’t protest Alinghi having seen the whole operation.

Then, despite Dean Barker expressing complete confidence in the measurement committee at the same press conference, the Kiwis slapped a protest in just after 7pm Wednesday night.

But the result of race four stands, and it's still 2-2.

In other news, United Internet Team Germany have announced that Karol Jablonski, previously Desafío Español’s helmsman, has defected to join them for the next edition of the America’s Cup.

Presumably they’ve decided that Jablonski, who’s Polish but a long-term German resident, will get through whatever nationality conditions the new defender might impose...

They’ve also had sail number 101 issued for their second boat of this Cup cycle, the construction of which was announced just after they departed the competition.

And the British Challenge, TEAMORIGIN, have announced that they will be challenging through the Royal Thames Yacht Club - the first club ever to challenge back in 1870, after the initial race in 1851.

America's Cup Live Race Commentary at:

Mark Chisnell ©