SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sailing near the fog-shrouded Golden Gate Bridge, Emirates Team New Zealand’s sleek catamaran turned back toward Alcatraz Island and accelerated almost as if skipper Dean Barker had flipped a switch, with its hulls lifting out of the water onto hydrofoils.
It was a picture-perfect example of what these new high-performance America’s Cup boats can do.
This being the America’s Cup, though, there’s a controversy gurgling just below the very waves the fast cats skim across.
The Kiwis are protesting a rule change that ostensibly was made for safety reasons following the death of British sailing star Andrew Simpson on May 9 when rival challenger Artemis Racing capsized.
Kiwi boss Grant Dalton doesn’t like the rules being changed so close to Sunday’s opening race in the challenger trials and suggests they could help defending champion Oracle Team USA.