(Reuters) – New Zealand’s SailGP team will not be able to compete in Taranto, Italy, due to the impossibility of transporting and fitting a replacement wing sail in time, SailGP said on Friday.
The dramatic collapse of the New Zealand team’s 29-metre wing sail was caused by a misalignment in Saint-Tropez last weekend.
“We’re working closely with the league to chart a path forward from here. That includes reviewing the rules for redress and compensatory points to ensure this forced non-participation does not further hinder our results this season,” said Blair Tuke, New Zealand’s wing trimmer and co-executive director, in the statement from the SailGP organisers.
Following the incident, SailGP investigated options for transporting a spare wing from the fleet and assembling it so the team would be ready to compete, but this has been prevented by shipping deadlines.
In addition, any replacement would have required extensive configuration and testing once it arrives on site so it would not have been ready within the short time between events.
SailGP said it is working to find a solution that will allow New Zealand to return to the starting line on Oct. 14-15 in Cadiz, Spain.
“It is incredibly disappointing not to be able to build on that momentum, but we have faced adversity before and will come back stronger in Cadiz, and for the rest of the season,” Tuke said.
After three events in the season, New Zealand is in fifth place with 17 points.
The ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix of Taranto will be held on Sept. 23-24.
(Reporting by Angelica Medina in Mexico City; Editing by Tom Hogue)
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