Italy threatens to sit out Cup opener

SAN FRANCISCO -- An already troubled America's Cup continues to bog down as Italy's Luna Rossa is threatening to sit out Sunday's opening race of the challenger series while it awaits the ruling of an international jury in a protest.

The protest hearing isn't scheduled to be heard until Monday, although regatta director Iain Murray says there's a chance it could be resolved before then.

Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand have protested Murray's authority to change rules as part of safety recommendations he made after British sailor Andrew "Bart" Simpson was killed May 9 when Artemis Racing's 72-foot catamaran capsized during a training run.

Skipper Dean Barker says Team New Zealand is ready to race Sunday even if the Italians aren't.