SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An international jury has levied the harshest penalties in the 162-year history of the America's Cup, docking defending champion Oracle Team USA two points in the finals against Emirates Team Zealand and expelling a key sailor.
The penalties announced against the syndicate Tuesday are for illegally modifying prototype boats in warmup regattas last year and earlier this year.
Oracle Team USA must win 11 races to retain the silver trophy. Team New Zealand must still win nine races in the series, which starts Saturday on San Francisco Bay.
Dirk de Ridder, who trims the wing sail, is barred from sailing in the regatta, and two shore crew members also have been expelled. Grinder Matt Mitchell has been barred from the first four races.
Oracle Team USA also was fined $250,000.