Kiwis unhappy with America's Cup rules changes

  • Emirates Team New Zealand makes its way below the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge to begin America's Cup training Tuesday, July 2, 2013, in San Francisco. Opening ceremonies for the sailing event are on Thursday. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SAN FRANCISCO — 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 boats can do.

And this being the America's Cup, it just can't go on without some kind of controversy. The latest is swirling 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 against Italy's Luna Rossa in the challenger trials, and suggests the changes could help defending champion Oracle Team USA.

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