FREMANTLE, Australia — Body searches of America's Cup crews may be necessary if race officials suspect the use of pocket-size devices providing up-to-the-minute weather information, an official with Great Britain's White Crusader Challenge said Friday.
Ian Easton, a director of the syndicate, said he believed at least one challenging team was using the illegal visual pager system. If true, that would violate the rule disallowing transmission of any weather reports to a competing yacht after the 10-minute warning gun is fired.
"If the race committee instituted a search of a boat before the start of a race, it should look at asking crewmen to empty their pockets," Easton said.
"These devices are quite small and can be easily hidden--or thrown overboard for that matter."
Easton said he is not prepared to name the syndicate he suspects.
"There is some evidence, but not enough" to go to race officials, he said. "It would be awful if the Cup was won by a crew using these devices."