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Italians May Pull Out Of America’s Cup Sunday Race; Time Trials Cancelled Due To Wind

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America’s Cup: World Series 2012 II

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Time trials for the America’s Cup sailing races in San Francisco were canceled Friday morning because of strong winds, event officials said.

With winds measured at more than 20 knots this morning, the principal race officer decided to keep the 72-foot boats off the water.

Race officer John Craig said in a statement that the boats were also kept out of a fleet parade scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday to “keep everyone in good shape for the first day of racing.”

Later, Friday morning, the America’s Cup regatta hit another snag when the skipper of Italy’s Luna Rossa Challenge said that his team might not compete in Sunday’s first scheduled sailing race because of a dispute overrule changes.

The Louis Vuitton Cup, the competition between challengers who are vying for the America’s Cup, begins Sunday at 12:15 p.m. with a race between Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge.

The eventual winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup will compete against Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup Finals in September. Opening ceremonies for the races took place Thursday in San Francisco.

But Luna Rossa Challenge skipper Max Sirena said at a news conference Friday morning that his team may sit out Sunday’s race as it waits for the cup’s International Jury to hear a complaint about modified safety rules.

The Italian team filed their complaint Tuesday after Emirates team members also filed a protest last Friday.

The safety rule changes were announced following the May 9 death of Sweden-based team Artemis Racing crewmember Andrew Simpson.

Meantime, Friday’s 11 a.m. boat parade went off as scheduled but without the 72-foot racing boats.

The fleet parade went from Pier 14, past the America’s Cup Park at Piers 27-29 and ended near Marina Green.

In lieu of the 72-foot vessels being on view in the water Friday morning, a group of about eight sailors were on the main stage at the America’s Cup Pavilion at Piers 27-29 at noon.

A poster signing session was held.

More information about the race schedule can be found online at www.americascup.com.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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