In their race against Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis Racing was penalised at the final mark, letting the Kiwi team win the race. Many saw this as an unnecessary penalty which completely gutted the Artemis crew.
Here is the official explanation for that penalty.
America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM), the independent organization that oversees the sporting and competitive rules of the America’s Cup, has announced its perspective on the contentious penalty given to Artemis Racing in race 14 of the first Round Robin stage of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers.
As has been seen in the first three days of racing in the 35th America’s Cup, the competition has been closer than ever. The outcome of each race is unpredictable and races are being won and lost by extremely fine margins. This means that the pressure on the umpires to make the correct calls is greater than ever before.
As in all sports, umpires are not infallible and on this occasion, even with the best sailing umpires in the world that are overseeing the 35th America’s Cup, they have admitted that their decision, on reflection, may have been different.
In an interview, Richard Slater, ACRM’s Chief Umpire said, “When they were coming down to the final gate mark, with the information we had at the time, we had Artemis Racing on port, as the keep clear boat, and Emirates Team New Zealand on starboard, and our job is to be certain that Artemis Racing were keeping clear, and we weren’t at that time certain they were keeping clear.
“We have had a discussion, we have looked at other evidence, information and data, and I think if we were to go back in time and make that call, we would green that call and not penalize Artemis.”
Asked if that decision could be changed, Slater answered, “No, it is a field of play decision and the decision of the umpire stands.”
“The big thing for us is that we need to take opportunities when they come in our races. If we can do that, then hopefully we will see some more wins in the same manner as today.”