The cheats at Oracle have been penalised for cheating.
America’s Cup holders Oracle will start their defence on Sunday minus-two potential points, after being found guilty of cheating by the international jury.
The jury released its penalties today which sees Oracle fine US$250,000 (NZ$321,000), three sailors banned from the entire cup series, and a fourth sailor banned for the first four races.
Half of the fine will go to the Andrew Simpson Foundation, established for the sailor killed in the capsize of the Swedish boat Artemis in May, and the other half will go to a charity to be nominated by the mayor of San Francisco.
New Zealand members of Oracle Matt Mitchell and Andrew Walker are among the banned quartet.
Mitchell is a grinder on the boat and will be sidelined for the first four races, while Walker is one of the team’s boat builders.
Australian Bryce Ruthenberg is also on the shore team, involved in rigging, and Dutch sailor Dirk de Ridder’s loss will be felt hard as he the wingsail trimmer and regarded as one of the best in the business.
In order to defend the cup Oracle now needs to win 11 races, while Team New Zealand needs to win just 9 races. Let’s hope it is 9 to -2 by the end of the series.