Jul 6, 2013, 10:27 AM EDT
Russell Coutts, CEO of Oracle Team USA at the America’s Cup, responded to an Italian team threatening to sit out in advance of the opening weekend of the sailing event by calling them “a bunch of spoiled rich kids dressed in Prada gear.”
“I think it’s just wrong that they should think that by threatening the event and threatening race officials that they’re going to get their own way,” Coutts said of Luna Rossa, according to The Associated Press. “It’s just the wrong approach. They’re frankly acting like a bunch of babies. Even my 7-year-old boy doesn’t behave like this. I wouldn’t accept this behavior from him. It’s childish.”
Coutts, a New Zealand native, is a four-time America’s Cup winner and a 1984 Olympic sailing gold medalist.
Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand are protesting safety changes made following the death of British sailor Andrew “Bart” Simpson in a capsize tragedy on May 9.
They say their boats were designed and built under the old rules and they don’t have time to build new rudders and, perhaps more importantly, test them. They’ve also said they feel the change gives an advantage to defending champion Oracle Team USA, which doesn’t have to race until the start of the 34th America’s Cup on Sept. 7.
Luna Rossa and Team New Zealand are scheduled to face off Sunday, if they back off their threats, with their protest set to be heard Monday, according to the AP.
- Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte split duels in Mesa 0
- Boston Marathon preview: Can Meb Keflezighi repeat? 0
- Michael Phelps jokingly challenges Katie Ledecky to race 1
- Debbie Phelps texted Michael Phelps about Rio 2016 years ago (video) 0
- Yevgeny Plushenko to return to figure skating competition 1
- Michael Phelps back with ‘OK’ victory in Mesa 1
- Michael Phelps could be offered World Championships spot by FINA 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)