I have been living the hell of Jury selection and jury duty all day so the judge said "NO CELLPHONES". . . .Whatever, so. . . .
Jake has covered a lot of good stuff so let's start here.
Granted, we're under a new ruleset for this cup but I'm nearly certain that they still do not allow any automated control. Digital, remote, etc., yes - but a computer can't be initiating movements.
NZ has successfully pulled off an automated (let's for now call it a) "fly by wire" system that was accepted within the class rule. Outside of cyclors providing hydro power there are only two controls. Steering only provided by Burling and the "game boy" touch screen that is controlled by Ashby. Anything else you see is a decoy. That is why we have seen such excellent boat handling from NZ. That is also why we saw a capsize. I personally think that is why we also see NZ always banging a single jibe to the 2nd mark (port side) almost every time. The software that controls the touch screen is constantly learning and getting more efficient. With a single touch of Ashby's one single finger, NZ is able to control everything from calculations using inputs from the instruments and sensors. The touchscreen controls the following :
wing first and second element trim
daggerboard rake position
daggerboard cant position
apendage loads from strain gauges
So technically, a computer (touchscreen interface and software) CAN be initiating movements with the touch of a finger and NZ successfully pulled it off. Gotta hand it to the kiwis, they figured out a way to foil the AC72 when the rules tried to prevent it. And for this AC cycle, they intentionally did not show up to Bermuda until too late in the game for anybody else to respond.
What happened? NZ brilliantly set up the measurement committee in an interpretation request and MC walked right into their trap. NZ receive the ruling on February 6 of this year, very late in the game. Did MC make the correct ruling? Technically yes, but in the spirit of the cup who knows. NZ knew what they were doing and executed it perfectly, and for that, they have earned the cup.