America’s Cup stoush: ‘We did not create the problem but we will fix it’ – Dalton

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Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton says he wants to find a solution to a stoush over the use of America’s Cup courses in the inner Waitematā Harbour.

Grant Dalton, Emirates Team New Zealand Managing Director talks to media at a press conference at the team's base in Auckland. 13/6/2014

Grant Dalton says he wants to fix the situation. Photo: PhotoSport

The America’s Cup arbitration panel has ruled the two race courses just off Takapuna and Devonport cannot be used.

Luna Rossa was concerned the defenders would have an unfair advantage, because they may have been able to use the courses while the challenger series was on.

Team New Zealand is upset because the courses offered the public the best chance to see the racing.

Dalton wants to fix the situation.

“There was an arrangement between all parties, that wasn’t agreed in February, that there wouldn’t be access to those inner courses in the early part of the Prada Cup because of the shipping requirements and that’s reasonable, ferries etc and so we’ll do everything we can to get it fixed, but we did not create the problem but we will fix it.”

Luna Rossa has hit back at Team New Zealand, saying it was disappointed by Team New Zealand’s comments.

In a statement, it said that the America’s Cup is governed by a set of rules “which guarantees the sporting fairness of the event”, it said that the rules provide “that all Prada Cup Challenges Selection Series races must be sailed ‘within the course areas of the match'”.

Luna Rossa said the Challenger of Record discovered in early September that the round robins and semi-finals of the Prada Cup could not be sailed on courses B and C which were designated as preferred courses for the final match – a situation it said the Defender had kept hidden. It said the arbitration panel ruled that “either racecourses B and C could be used for all the regattas of the PRADA Cup, or they could not be used at all”.

“The attacks by Emirates Team New Zealand are intended solely at discrediting the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team with populist pretexts that tend to mask the attempt to gain an unfair advantage over the Challengers who, we repeat, unanimously supported COR 36 by each lodging their own independent submission,” the Luna Rossa statement said.

The independent chairperson of the America’s Cup 36 joint chief executive group, Nick Hill, said they have made it clear all the parties involved need to work together to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.

“The uses of the courses and the parameters around their use were agreed to by all of the agencies, including the Challenger of Record representative and the Defender in February.

“We expect to see an event where Aucklanders and visitors can share in the experience, an event that will showcase Auckland to the world, and we will work with the parties to help achieve that outcome.”

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