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Double Disqualification Wipes Out Opening Race in Cup Defender Series

January 15, 1987|United Press International

FREMANTLE, Australia — A yachting jury Thursday disqualified race winner Kookaburra III and loser Australia IV from the opening match of the America's Cup defender finals.

The unprecedented decision wiped out Kookaburra III's stunning 29-second comeback victory over Alan Bond's flagship Wednesday and cleans the slate in the best-of-nine race series to select a Cup defender.

The two yachts will meet again today in a resumption of the protest-marred defender competition.

Kookaburra III overcame a pre-start collision and a blown spinnaker to overtake Australia IV on the sixth leg and hold on for the apparent victory.

But the yachts filed a flurry of four protests over the collision and another pre-start incident that sent the five-member jury into its longest session of the 3 1/2-month America's Cup trials.

Emerging at 4 a.m., after eight hours, the panel first disqualified Australia IV from the race. It ruled that the Bond boat caused the incident in which Kookaburra III's bow brushed Australia IV's stern as the yachts jockeyed for position at the start.

In the jury's second decision, Kookaburra III was disqualified for a separate pre-start incident, blamed for failing to keep clear of Australia IV on a starboard tack.

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