3 Apr 2015

Luna Rossa bails on America's Cup

12:58 pm on 3 April 2015

Italian sailing team Luna Rossa have announced they will withdraw from the America's Cup after teams voted to reduce the size of the boats that will compete in the 2017 regatta.

The Italian boat Luna Rossa in action.

The Italian boat Luna Rossa in action. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

On Wednesday, America's Cup organisers said the majority of teams favoured a move to shift from 19-metre catamarans to 15-metre boats.

Previously, every team had to agree for the rule to change. However last week, defending champion Oracle Team USA and some other teams agreed to change the protocol to a majority vote.

"Following a careful evaluation of the serious implications of this unprecedented initiative, Team Luna Rossa confirms that it will withdraw from the 35th America's Cup, " a statement from the team says.

It describes the process behind the vote as "illegitimate" and an "attempt to introduce boats that are substantially monotypes and in total contrast with the ultra-centennial tradition of the America's Cup."

The statement says while the decision to withdraw was painful, the team did not want to compromise.

"Sometimes it is necessary to make decisions that are painful but must be clear cut, as only these can make everybody aware of the drifts of the system and therefore set the basis for the future: respect of legality and sportsmanship," team principal Patrizio Bertelli says.

Team New Zealand supports Luna Rossa's opposition to the move, and they're also fighting proposed changes to America's Cup rules that discard Auckland as a regatta host.

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