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Team Dennis Conner Disappointed by Arbitration Panel’s Ruling

Team DC Withdraws Fair Sailing Protest

December 9, 2002

The America’s Cup Arbitration Panel has rendered its decision in the proceeding commenced by the Yacht Club Punta Ala (YCPA) and the New York Yacht Club (NYYC). The two clubs alleged that, in contravention of the America’s Cup Protocol, OneWorld Challenge (OWC) obtained and utilized hull, sail and rig-design data that was developed by other teams in connection with America’s Cup XXX (1999-2000).

The Arbitration Panel ruled in favor of the YCPA and NYYC. For being “in breach of the Protocol,” OWC will lose one point in the semi-final of the Louis Vuitton Cup and, if it advances, one point in the final of the Louis Vuitton Cup and, if it advances, one point in the Match for the America’s Cup. The Panel also directs OWC to pay costs of $US65,000.

“The New York Yacht Club and its Team Dennis Conner thank the Arbitration Panel for this most difficult decision but take no pleasure in the verdict,” said NYYC Commodore Charles A. Dana III. “Punta Ala’s and New York’s submission to the Arbitration Panel in late November was based on new information that was not previously available and alleged breaches of the Protocol far beyond those previously admitted by OneWorld and considered by the Panel in its decision in August,” Commodore Dana continued.

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“Both clubs believe that the rules requiring each team to develop its own design data are fundamental to the America’s Cup competition. It is important that all future teams have a clear understanding of these rules, and the consequences of any violation of the rules. It was solely for this purpose that YCPA and the NYYC commenced the latest proceeding before the Arbitration Panel.”

Dennis Conner, head of the Stars & Stripes campaign for the America’s Cup said: “The decision of the panel substantiates some of the claims made by the New York Yacht Club/Team Dennis Conner and Yacht Club Punta Ala/Prada Challenge. However, we are disappointed with the penalty imposed. We believe it does not do justice to the years of dedication and hard work on the part of our entire team.”

Conner said that in light of the Panel’s decision, his team would withdraw its Fair Sailing protest to the International Jury. The hearing was scheduled for Tuesday night.

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