French Threaten Court Suit Unless They Get Proof Kiwi 12-Meter Is Legal

French Kiss refueled the controversy over New Zealand's fiberglass boat today.

The Societe des Regates Rochelaises syndicate filed notification that it would seek an injunction from the New York State Supreme Court or protest the Kiwi 12-meter before the end of the series if it is not given satisfactory proof that the boat is legal.

French Kiss is scheduled to start a best-of-seven semifinal series against KZ7 in the America's Cup challenger trials Sunday.

KZ7 and other semifinalists were resurveyed and certified by Lloyd's Register of Shipping last weekend, but Lloyd's issued no detailed report.

Therefore, syndicate chairman Rene Marqueze said, "We have to mistrust the results. We are technical people. We want to have technical data."

Several 3/16th-inch holes were drilled in KZ7's hull to test thickness, but no core samples were removed, leaving the density of the material in doubt. Rivals have been concerned that KZ7 has the advantage of being lighter in the ends than it is in the middle.

If no satisfactory evidence is presented by today, Marqueze said, the syndicate's lawyer in Paris is prepared to seek an injunction from the New York Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction over the America's Cup deed of gift.

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