Monday 1 March at 16:03 local time was the deadline for both America’s Cup teams to define and finalise the configuration of their boats for the Match.
They have to declare specific details on all the key areas such as the hull, rig, foils and many other areas of the boat including its precise weight.
The main exclusion to the rules this time around is the type and number of sails, thus the reports that Luna Rossa had flown in new sails and parts from Italy before the declaration deadline.
But even then there are strict rules on the weight of the sails that are carried on board and corrector weights that may be required to ensure that the all up weight of the boat remains the same.
With that deadline now passed, both teams will have laid out precisely the boat that they will use for the series.
And while the AC75 and the rules that define it are complex, the bottom line is that there is barely any wriggle room once a team has staked its claim to the type of boat that they intend to race.
The nightmare for both teams is a gear failure or breakage, nothing on the scale of American Magic’s wipe-out, but something that loses them a race and requires fixing for the next.
First, teams need to be able to demonstrate to the measurers that the gear failure was unintentional and then that it is not possible to effect a repair.
Assuming they are successful in doing this, teams can only use replacement items that have been included on the list that they made as part of their declaration and in their order of preference. If a team is successful in their application, then their opponent automatically has the opportunity to make the same change.
A recent request for a technical interpretation on an aspect of these replacement rules by ACE ran to four pages and included this woolly declaration . . .
Decision on Jurisdiction
The Jury has therefore resolved to comply with RRSAC N2.3 to decide the matters referred to it by the Organising Authority. In answering these questions, the Jury gives no opinion as to the authority of the answers because, in doing so, the Jury would have to interpret the Protocol and this is clearly outside its authority.
Question 2 from the Organising Authority.
In the situation described above, FW1 can only be used on Arm 2 with Arm Fairing 2 version A, and FW2 can only be used on Arm 2 with Arm Fairing 2 version B. May Arm Fairing 2 version B be used with FW2, and modified to version A when FW1 is installed on Arm 2?
Answer 2 from International Jury.
No. The only replacement permitted is either the next specific component identified on the scheduled order of replacement components, or, if so specified, a complete foil with different sub-components.
You can already hear the lawyers sharpening their pens . . .
The level 3 restrictions that were announced by the New Zealand Government on Saturday night mean there will be no start to racing until at least Wednesday 10 March, and then only if COVID restrictions and weather conditions allow.
The Challenger of Record and Defender are negotiating over changes to the racing schedule, so expect the unexpected.