Kiwi sailing team gets `rap on knuckles` for giving `joyride` to Tom Cruise, son

Wellington: The New Zealand sailing team has reportedly been warned by America`s Cup authorities for taking Hollywood star Tom Cruise and his son Connor for a blast on their boat while the race course was still under their jurisdiction.

Team New Zealand scored a publicity coup for themselves with massive media attention on the Cruises` joyride which included both guests working the winches and taking the helm at speeds of more than 40 knots on San Francisco Bay.

However, the team received the warning given the strict safety measures following the May 9 capsize of challenger Artemis Racing and the death of crew-member Andrew Simpson, which also include forbidding guests on board the boats on the race course.

Although Cruise and his son boarded Team New Zealand`s massive AC72 after the race, the report said that the course was still being managed by the race committee.

However, the report mentioned that carrying guests while racing has been a lucrative business in previous cups for syndicates, who have often charged for the pleasure or have used it as an opportunity to reward sponsors.

Reinforcing the rules put in place in agreement with the United States Coast Guard who issue the event permit, regatta director Iain Murray stated that competitors must adhere at all times to the safety recommendations while the USCG Special Local Regulation (SLR) is in operation, whether for racing or for training within the SLR area.

Murray further stated that guest racers cannot be carried at any time aboard an AC72 yacht within the course area when the SLR is in effect, although he added that they can be carried as soon as the SLR is lifted.


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