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.