The traditional bickering over the America’s Cup rules marred the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup on Sunday.
The Italians of Luna Rosa pulled out of their first race with EmiratesTeam New Zealand in protest over late rule changes.
The Kiwis therefore sailed the San Francisco race course alone in order to officially win the first of several America’s Cup challenger trials.
Rule changes to the impressive AC72 twin-hulled boats were recommended after British Olympian Andrew Simpson was killed in an accident in May that also wrecked the Artemis Racing’s boat.
A jury hearing for the Italian’s protests was not scheduled until Monday – a day after the opening race.
The Swedish-based Artemis Racing are now in a race against the clock to ready their new boat for competition which is likely to be in two weeks time.
Artemis complete the three challengers that make up the Louis Vuitton Cup round robin series.
The team that’s leading after the five round-robins will head to the final leaving the other two to battle it out in the semis beginning August 6.
The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup will face Oracle Team USA in the 34th America’s Cup beginning Sept. 7.
The second round robin race between Emirates Team New Zealand and Italy’s Luna Rosa is scheduled for Saturday.