AC 33 Arbitration Panel Changed by ‘the 19’.

We’re looking for suggestions for a collective noun to descibe the ’19’ teams involved in the discussions about AC33. Perhaps ‘the 19’ is sufficient. The group all sat down again yesterday in the fifth 33rd America’s Cup Competitor Meeting in Valencia.

Alinghi, the defender, showed that the protocol and rules governing the 33rd version of the cup are flexible by responding to criticism of the last published protocol.

The teams present agreed a Protocol amendment which will loosen the restriction on designers moving between teams. The group appointed two additional members of the Arbitration Panel: David Kellett (AUS), ISAF Vice-President, and Peter Leaver (GBR), a UK barrister since 1967 and Chairman of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, will join Henry Peter (SUI), Luis Maria Cazorla (ESP) and Graham McKenzie (NZL). The 19 competitors also named David Pedrick (USA) Technical Director for the 33rd America’s Cup.

Pedrick, involved in the America’s Cup since 1974, will be Chairman of the Measurement Committee – made up of no less than two additional members – that ensures compliance with the AC33 rules and any other measurement requirements.

“It is exciting to be engaged in the America’s Cup in this way, to actually be part of helping this new class of yacht be successful for the 33rd America’s Cup. The configuration of the new AC33 class is pretty tightly and simply defined, but there may be some loopholes that we don’t yet understand and will need to be mindful of. The construction is defined in a simpler way than with the ACC class and there may be some structural situations that will need careful monitoring. Because this is a new class and all the interpretations are to be public, the hope is that the dialogue with the competitors will be such that if there is uncertainty they will feel free to ask the questions early.”

The Host City agreement was also discussed along with plans to run the pre-regattas in 2009 and the Match in 2010 in Valencia. Negotiations are moving forward with the Spanish administrations and AC Management is confident of announcing a deal with Valencia in the near future.

The competitors decided that participation in the 2009 pre-regattas on ACC Version 5.0 yachts is to be compulsory for all teams and it is intended that syndicates be allocated bases once they confirm their participation in these races.

The next Competitor Meeting is scheduled for the 31 March in Valencia.