24 May 2017

America's Cup teams push for crash recovery rule

10:24 am on 24 May 2017

Team New Zealand has wrapped up its practice racing ahead of Saturday morning's first race in the America's Cup regatta in Bermuda.

Boat Aotearoa at the end of yesterday's practice session on Bermuda's Great Sound.  23/05/17

Aotearoa at the end of yesterday's practice session on Bermuda's Great Sound. Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

The team was also hoping an imminent rule clarification could reduce the risk of elimination from the competition should a repeat of its collision with Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) be repeated.

Competitors and race officials have been discussing for months how to deal with a boat damaged through the fault of another team and possibly missing scheduled races.

Team New Zealand's operations manager Kevin Shoebridge said after today's practice session, it looked as though an innocent party would be given time to stay in the regatta.

Team New Zealand operations manager Kevin Shoebridge. 23/05/17

Team New Zealand operations manager Kevin Shoebridge. Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

"It would be enough to get your boat repaired and back on the race course," he said.

"Take the incident we had last week, if we had to we couldn't have done a proper repair job, but we could have done one well enough to get out again within 24 hours."

Currently damaged boats could miss up to three races in a single day, forgoing points that could decide their fate.

Team New Zealand returns to base. 24/05/17

Team New Zealand returns to base. Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

Shoebridge said the team had been trying new apendages, software upgrades and other tweaks ahead of Saturday morning's opening race against the French challenger Groupama.

All six teams were out on the course on Bermuda's Great Sound.

Team New Zealand will have a day ashore tomorrow, finalising preparations, and a short television rehersal outing on Thursday.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.