Posts Tagged ‘America’s Cup’
ACEA’s live coverage of the America’s Cup is pretty damned amazing, and we’ve now tested it on a big enough group of non-sailors to know that they like it too. In fact it’s hard to fault the combined Coutts/Ellison/Honey vision of what the Cup should look like on a jumbotron – except for the awful commentators, the geo-restrictions, the shit ratings, onsite turnout way below expectations, NBC’s total lack of interest, ESPN’s total lack of promotion, NBC Sports Network’s total lack of being a real network…maybe it’s not actually hard to find fault?
This video shows our pals at Bangin’ The Corner giving the world a good look at ACEA’s brilliant on-the-ground announcing team of Tugger Thompson and Andy Green.
September 14th, 2013 by admin
When AC Anarchists coined the term ‘tractor’ to describe the Kiwi AC72, no one knew it would end up being a badge of honor. Compared to the slender, lithe OTUSA design, Aotearoa is indeed boxier and more substantial looking, but the metaphor goes a lot further. She’s solid in all conditions, powerful but forgiving, and above all, quite simple to operate. And c’mon folks – Grant Dalton looks far more like a farmer than a Grand Prix racer; could the ‘foiling tractor’ be any more perfect?
There are actually AC spectators wearing ‘foiling tractor’ shirts. Wanna print your own? Head to the thread and download some of ‘Webfish’ or some of the other anarchists’ doodles.
September 12th, 2013 by admin
And if Bangin’ doesn’t crack you up, a new Hitler AC video is always good for a laugh.
September 12th, 2013 by admin
As press conferences go, this is a good one; young Slingers looking like a deer in the headlights and Jimmy getting grilled on the early retirement for Oracle. Watch the whole thing; Ray is always a chuckle and Jimmy’s finally being his old compelling self, and now’s the time to get to know them.
September 10th, 2013 by admin
We hate to say ‘we told you so’, but we did.
When the AC34 protocol came out, we applauded the America’s Cup’s first move to modernity in 15 years. We were massively excited at the thought of 40-knot runs along the SF cityfront, and we said so. In fact our enthusiasm for mega-multihull racing led to much of our disappointment in the execution of ElliCoutts’ vision over the past year, but now that the main event is before us, here’s a hearty ‘Thank You” to everyone that made it happen. And here’s Senior Editor Mr. Clean with a 9-minute update with drive time Kiwi talker D’arcy Waldegrave that aired on Radiosport NZ this morning.
September 9th, 2013 by admin
The Maori creation myth is one of the world’s most descriptive, and anyone who likes to be around top-level yacht racing might want to get intimate with it before the next Cup cycle begins. Now you can, with this incredible animation from our pals at Virtual Eye. The 5-minute video tells the Maori story of the birth of New Zealand, and the folks at VE and Animation Research clearly spent a lot of time on what they’re calling a ‘gift’ to a San Francisco in the grips of a great America’s Cup battle. Don’t like watching cartoons? Here’s something longer and more learn-y from Scientific American; a half hour discussion about wing sails with Sailrocket’s Paul Larsen, the dude with the land sailing speed record, and some academic types recorded off a Google Hangout. Skip to about 3 minutes to get through their tech issues.
September 9th, 2013 by admin
Based on what we saw yesterday, Russell Coutts won’t need to search too far to see where the wheels came off the bus. It wasn’t ruddergate. It wasn’t the cheating or the penalties (though Russell Coutts is taking a hell of a bollocking on his Facebook Page). It wasn’t too much or too little partying, or bad designers, or bad outfits, or having an old boat. It had nothing to do with safety, or with Bart. And it certainly wasn’t a pre-start no call by the umps.
Nope – Oracle Team USA lost the 34th America’s Cup almost a year ago; October 16th, 2012 to be exact, when Jimmy sent the boat down the mine and got blown out to sea. And it wasn’t the capsize itself; had Fresh and Tugboat and the other great seaman on Oracle properly planned for capsize and righted the boat without destroying her only wing, Oracle would almost certainly be on top now. Or tied at zero, at least. But in a competition where time is the single most important commodity, that cold day in October changed everything. It stole months of training, modding, developing, and sailing from Spithill and his team just as ETNZ was learning how to sail above the water.
ETNZ are winning not with a major design advantage; they are winning it with practice, hard work, and time in the boat. Have a look at the detailed data (Race 1 Race 2); Oracle are a second or two behind on the legs they sail well, with major errors costing 20 or 30 seconds. The Kiwis are quicker to accelerate, quicker to gybe, and significantly faster at getting up to speed after tacks – that’s opening up their starts and making their tactics a lot simpler, and as long as Ray Davies keeps sailing perfectly, and if the wind stays strong, by next Sunday the Cup will be sitting in First Class on its way to the land of the long white cloud.
NOW YOU SEE ME
Meanwhile, the live TV feed from Race 1 was perhaps the single most exciting sailboat race we’ve ever seen on any screen. For all their problems, the AC72 is simply awe-inspiring at speed on a big flat screen. When they’re changing leads with every tack, coming within inches of each other through the spray and the noise, and it’s all caught by amazing cameras and the brilliant LiveLine system, it’s easy to cheer for Larry Ellison even as his team fades. Could the commentating be a lot better? Sure. Do we wish the NBC feed had no commercials? Of course. But from the graphics to the intros to the shots to the action, Race 1 was as good as any Super Bowl or Tour De France we’ve ever seen.
Furthermore, someone seems to have pulled all the Youtube geo-restrictions down for this America’s Cup, letting anyone, anywhere watch the action live. We’ve been asking for it for months, and it’s great to see someone at ACEA decide to focus on maximum audience, rather than maximum TV audience. Nice going, all – especially Ken Read. The full replay (unfortunately, without Ken Read) is here, the Virtual Eye animated replay is here, and it’s worth checking out the 22-minute press conference here.
Is it time for fans of Oracle Team USA to slit their wrists? Not quite yet, though Spithill and Kostecki’s look and sound at the post-race presser wasn’t inspiring. If the wind stays below 15 or 16, a good start may win the race. Under 10, Oracle may be a a lot quicker – no one yet knows. The data say that NZ sails faster on all points of sail, even if they have to sail extra distance to do so. Kostecki and Coutts and Spithill spent all night learning what it means, and Sunday’s racing should be something special. We’ll have it right here on the front page. Martin-Raget and Cameron photos.
September 8th, 2013 by admin
For all their fuckups, we repeat what we’ve said for the better part of a year now; the best thing to come out of this America’s Cup is a new standard of live video coverage. Stan’s e-wizadry, millions spent on TV buys and helicams, and excellent commentary from Ken Read (and to a lesser extent) Nath Outteridge; these things overshadow all the missteps and bad decisions we’ve had from the AC’s media delivery program.
We encourage you to check it out on NBC here in the states or Youtube overseas – if you can’t get it, head to the ServusTV site for worldwide streaming in German; if you can’t stand the language you can hack your own system; one window with the video and another with the audio from the Cup site. You can also watch it on the go (if you live in the right area) with the NBC Sports app (IOS Android) or Youtube.
On The Ground
For the thousands of Anarchists on the ground in SF or for those of you looking for more info on the atmosphere of the place, head over to the On-Scene thread to find out where everyone’s going for drinks and much, much more. There are apparently tons of hotel vacancies for those of you looking for a last-minute trip, and from the thread, here’s local sailor ‘finnfart’ on where to watch the racing:
1) AC pier 27: Nice close viewing of the finish and not much else. Video for the rest. Can’t even see the boats for most of the race.
2) Up on the hill: In a very nice appt of a mates behind Ghirardelli/Fishermans wharf/pier 39: Too far back. You can make out what is going on, but barely. Lose the sense of how cool the machines are.
3) Boat on the bay: Worst option. Can barely see anything. Unless you have a fearless friend who will drive around and ‘elbow in’, you will see next to nothing as the bigger boats take the front and block your view.
4) Marina Green: Best IMO. You can walk around and see a screen if you want, but can go find a good view point, and make yourself a way to the shore where you can really see. Even here, you just get them as they pass the 3/4 mark up or down. Wildcard is not sure how many people will be there
5) Alcatraz: If you don’t already have tickets, you are probably screwed anyway. But it isn’t easy to get the city side view from there… and I would expect that the spectator fleet is going to block the view pretty well. Can’t say as I haven’t seen it with the crowd and the fleet, but not hopeful.
6) Best II) Crissy field north or SFYC. You get the start and the turning mark. I think that this place is likely to be the least packed, and offer the most interesting sailing views. No big screens or concessions, but that’s fine by me.
September 7th, 2013 by admin
No cheating, plenty of man love, and a team that’s so into it that they yell ‘Fuck, Yeah!” after nailing a start and sailing off to a Red Bull Youth AC Race 1 win. It’s everything you wished the America’s Cup was, and Sam Greenfield gives us the American Youth Sailing Force highlight reel above.
While Pete Burling’s Sailing With ETNZ team has a nice 7-point lead going into the final day of action, we find it frightfully easy to cheer for a US team of real people actually doing well who got to the starting line by cutting checks from their savings account and learning how to hustle. Genny T grabbed a few of the nippers and put ‘em on camera as well; check it here.
See if America (or Australia, who finally has their train rolling) can pull it off during today’s final races live on YouTube if you are in Nigeria and if ACTV can get their act together, here on TVNZ if you are a flightless bird, or here on ServusTV if you can’t figure out the proxy server system or you don’t mind German.
- Tags: America's Cup, American Youth Sailing Force, Red Bull, Red Bull Youth America's Cup, Sam Greenfield
September 4th, 2013 by admin
Never mind the sailor bans, protests, brinksmanship, or gamesmanship; the AC should really just ban the video production crew. After some two years of Youtube streaming, they managed to completely fuck up the live YT feed for the entire second race of yesterday’s Red Bull Youth AC action. Literally the entire world lost their feed for the better part of an hour; the thousands who were watching drifted off in minutes, many of them likely never to return – though a few hundred stayed to bitch on Youtube’s chat room (see left).
On a similar note, we’re a bit surprised to see ACEA hasn’t been able to convince a major sponsor like Red Bull and a major broadcast partner like ESPN to officially acknowledge that their companies have even the remotest connection to sailing. Take a look at Red Bull’s main website; they’ve spent millions on the Youth AC, but we dare you to find anything – anything at all – about sailing on their site. Snowboarding, surfing, base jumping, skateboarding…the company can even feature crappy music reviews on its home page, but not a sailing shot, promo, or piece of sailing, anywhere.
ESPN isn’t any better; unless you stumble across the AC in their whacked schedule, you’d never know ESPN was the international broadcast outlet for the Red Bull event, and a major partner for the AC itself. We challenge you to check them out, and be sure to click on ‘other sports’ to see just how many stupid-ass games ESPN can mention without once putting a header up for ‘sailing’.
We assume Red Bull and ESPN know what they are doing; ACEA clearly doesn’t. So why are they so silent on sailing? Is it because no one is watching, and they don’t want to waste a penny on promoting a loser? Or is it yet another example of pathetic ACEA communications and promotional work; no squeaky wheel = no grease?
September 4th, 2013 by admin
The Anarchists have decided to find the best America’s Cup limerick writer; won’t you join them? Our favorite so far comes from the mysterious ‘snaerk’, and required some…um…translation.
Coutts was a talented sailor
With an intellect big as Australia
But his confident sense
Of direction has meant
That his dreams have now arced towards failure.
Like his co-equals, Cayard is apt
To devise and contrive to have tapped
From a billionaire’s stash
The most utmost of cash
Notwithstanding, their campaign unwrapped.
From a land with a shape like a boot
Came a team with no shortage of loot
But they ran out of timing
(As I’ve run out of rhyming)
In fact, timing was not their strong suit.
One thing that’s quite certain with Dalts,
In spite of his manifest faults
His opponents have winced
‘Cause his words are not minced
But his nuts sure are done up with bolts.
September 4th, 2013 by admin
That means they start the America’s Cup this weekend – a first to 9 match – on minus 2 points. More to follow, including, we expect, penalties for individual sailors and shore crew, or just fervently refresh the Jury thread.
UPDATE: CASH FINES TO BART CHARITY, CHEESE, MATTY, WALKER, RUTHENBERG GET FULL OR PARTIAL AC BANS/FORWARDED TO ISAF FOR RULE 69 HEARINGS, LANGFORD GETS WARNING ONLY/ANONYMOUS SAILOR PLUS MANAGEMENT (MOSTLY) EXONERATED…OFFICIAL JURY STATEMENT OF FACTS HERE.
Pursuant to Protocol Article 15.4(d)(iv), OTUSA shall be penalised one point for each of the first two races of the Match in which they would otherwise score a point. 100. OTUSA are ordered pursuant to Protocol Articles 15.4(d)(ii) and 15.3(B)/> to pay a fine of US$250,000. Such fine is to be paid to the following charities:
- US$125,000 to the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation which charity has been established following the death of Andrew (Bart) Simpson on an AC72 in San Francisco in May 2013, for the purpose of assisting young people to get involved in sailing through mentoring and support. (B) > US$125,000 payable to a section 501©(3) charitable organisation selected by the Mayor of San Francisco to provide support to at-risk youth in the San Francisco Bay area.
Individuals (Rule 69):
DECISIONS ON PENALTIES
Bryce Ruthenberg is excluded from further participation in any role in the 34th America’s Cup. RRSAC rule 69.1© requires the Jury to inform his National Authority (Australian Yachting Federation) and the International Sailing Federation, which bodies may impose further penalties; however, in view of his full, frank and early admissions, the Jury will recommend that no further action be taken.
Andrew Walker is excluded from further participation in any role in the 34th America’s Cup. RRSAC rule 69.1© requires the Jury to inform his National Authority (Yachting New Zealand) and the International Sailing Federation, which bodies may impose further penalties.
Kyle Langford In light of his age and inexperience in an America’s Cup environment, the fact that he had no involvement in the work done and his truthfulness during the hearing, together with his sincere efforts to acquaint himself with the Class Rules since the matter came to light, Kyle Langford is warned to use his best endeavours not to be involved with any activity that may be in breach of a rule in the future. The Jury is not required to make a report to any federation.
Matt Mitchell is excluded from sailing on a Yacht competing in the Match for the 34th America’s Cup until 4 races have been completed. RRSAC Rule 69.1© requires the Jury to inform his National Authority (Yachting New Zealand) and the International Sailing Federation, which bodies may impose further penalties; however, the Jury will recommend that no further action be taken.
Dirk de Ridder is excluded from further participation in any role in the 34th America’s Cup. RRSAC Rule 69.1© requires the Jury to inform his National Authority (Koninklijk Nederlands Watersport Verbond) and the International Sailing Federation, which bodies may impose further penalties.
September 3rd, 2013 by admin
Nonstop action, real national teams, elation and disappointment, energy and emotion, and a Kiwi vs. US battle for the trophy? Sign us up and watch above. Two more days of great racing remain and if the LVC is anything to judge by, get it all in now; you might not ever see AC(ish) catamarans racing this closely again!
September 2nd, 2013 by admin
Like everyone else in the entire world, we’re amazed at just how pathetic the Louis Vuitton Cup ‘racing’ has been. And with Ainslie’s rudder snapping clean off in Defender trials, the home team is no better than the visitors. Listen above to hear Mr. Clean sum it up well, as recorded live this morning with D’arcy Waldegrave on Radio Sports NZ.
Meanwhile, remember we told you Oracle was threatening to protest Luna Rossa and ETNZ for ‘trespass’? As much as it sounds like it, we weren’t joking.
As a final sum-up for the ‘summer of racing’ thus far, here’s a good look at the what, the why, and the how of the AC72 debacle including an interview with a rapidly aging Russell Coutts, from our friends at the good ship Outside Mag. Thanks to Kahlessa for the find, and don’t forget to spend a few hours with the America’s Cup Anarchy forums if you’re looking for the best Cup discussion on the web.
August 20th, 2013 by admin
Dalts and Peter Lester put it best in the linked report below, but anyone who’s ever raced one-design knows that the latest America’s Cup drama is very real, and that Russell Coutts’ “withdrawal” and explanation was both forced by the jury and well, if it smells like crap, it probably is. Watch the TVNZ report here.
Anyone hear a bus coming? Any guesses who gets run over by it?
The details, if you haven’t seen them yet, are as follows: When setting up the AC45s for the RedBull Youth AC, measurers discovered lead hidden inside the kingpost – the dolphin-striker-like post that extends downward from the forward beam – of the BAR boat. Oracle did their own investigation and found that two of their boats were similarly modded. The Jury protested the boats, and Oracle and BAR withdrew from the regattas in question. Coutts says that management knew nothing about it, and while many one-design sailors will question the dodging of responsibility, there is a plausible explanation: Murray raised the minimum weight on the AC45s a couple of times in response to the gradual fattening of boats due to repairs. Teams were supposed to add weight in specific locations, and it seems that OTUSA’s boatbuilding team, possibly in conjunction with some of the sailing team, decided to put the weight in a position more advantageous to performance than inside the dotted lines they were given.
What really happened? We may never know; what we do know is that heads are going to roll thanks to an ISAF Rule 69 hearing…stay tuned.
From Dean Barker’s Blog: “Well yet another bizarre twist today when Oracle withdrew from four AC45 events over the lat 12 months because they had been caught cheating. I do not know the exact details but supposedly lead ballast was discovered in the king posts of both the Oracle boats and also the BAR boat which was also prepared by the Oracle Team. It is incredibly disappointing to say the least to find out your competitors have been straight out cheating. It is an insult to the other competitors, particularly in an event that they have been running. The AC45 is a strict one design class and this was one of the great appeals of this type of racing. To deliberately break the class rules is hard to understand.”
August 9th, 2013 by admin
Luna Rossa and Artemis (in training) are both decidedly canine compared to ETNZ when it comes to everything but looks, but that could be a blessing, for a week or two at least. We might actually see some close racing between two badass boats.
Unless it blows 21.2 knots. That’s right, folks – it might be called for too much wind. Sigh…
August 6th, 2013 by admin
Yesterday Mr. Clean became one of just a handful of folks to ever helm the 2010 Little America’s Cup winning Canaan, widely believed to be well under 350 lbs. and the lightest C-Class ever built. And as light and fast as she is, Fred Eaton and Magnus Clarke’s ride for the September Little AC is quite a bit faster…we’ve got the no-punches-pulled tour of the fully foiling Fill Your Hands on video but we can’t show it to you for a couple of weeks; we’ll have as detailed a report as we’re allowed on both boats from Clean today. Meredith Block photo and more in the thread.
August 2nd, 2013 by admin
Hallelujah! Yesterday we saw the first close race in an AC72, with Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Team USA-ish taking the win. It was the closest race yet.
It wasn’t particularly fair, but an effective publicity stunt needn’t be fair, real, or sporting. It just has to be fun – something surf/SUP/kite superstar Kai Lenny does very well. Enjoy some ‘real’ racing with a Red Bull edge.
July 19th, 2013 by admin
Offered without comment from the desk of Anarchist “Shipstores”. Photo from Pierre Orphanidis/Vsail.info.
Race Report – Round Robin One
Three days into the Luxury Purses Cup and the teams are neck and neck with just 2 points separating first placed Airline Land of the Long White Cloud and Hellenic Goddess of Childbirth in last place. As the teams prepare for the start of the second phase of RR1, and despite the fact that the Hellenic Goddess of Childbirth is again upside down, there is still plenty to play for.
Race One: Airline Land of the Long White Cloud Vs Handbags
Race one was the highly anticipated first-ever race in the new AC72 Deathtrap class. Despite entering from the un-favoured port end of the start box, Airline Land of the Long White Cloud were able to enter the start area and gybe onto starboard without any pressure from Handbags. From there the Southern Hemisphere team were able to control the start and hit the line at speed, much to the delight of commentators Tucker “What is a gybe again?” Thompson and Andy “port and starboard confuse me” Green.
Leg one was over in a flash as Airline Land of the Long White Cloud reached speeds of 37 knots. Tucker “What is a gybe again?” Thompson practically soiled himself as the boat lifted onto its foils, screaming for the first of 146 times “The boat is LITERALLY FLYING”. A phrase we will hear endlessly throughout this year’s sure-to-be-exciting Summer of Sailing.
From there Handbags was unable to challenge Airline Land of the Long White Cloud, who went on to dominate this first race, despite a near-catastrophic capsize that left Andy “Port and starboard confuse me” Green calling for a change of lady pants. Airline Land of the Long White Cloud crossed the finish line at speed to take the first win of the regatta.
Airline Land of the Long White Cloud CEO Grant “Grindermonky” Dalton commented in the post-race interview that the win was almost as good as “kissing your sister”.
Handbags skipper Max “I still love you Iain Murray even though I called you a cheater two days ago” Sirena has not kissed Daltons sister, so was unable to comment.
Race Two: Airline Land of the Long White Cloud Vs Hellenic Goddess of Childbirth
Race Two started in almost ideal conditions as Airline Land of the Long White Cloud once again dominated the start. With Airline Land of the Long White Cloud timing their run to the start to perfection, Hellenic Goddess of Childbirth were unable to put any pressure on the Kiwi team.
Despite the fact that Airline Land of the Long White Cloud completed foiling gybe after foiling gybe, Hellenic Goddess of Childbirth didn’t get airborne once and were unable to put any pressure on the Rugby loving team, who seemed to be in a league of their own on the race course.
After another dominant performance Airline Land of the Long White Cloud went on to extend their winning streak and take maximum points.
After the loss, Hellenic Goddess of Childbirth head Paul “stop picking on me” Cayard stated that his team was “here to race”, even though they weren’t there to race.
Race Three: Hellenic Goddess of Childbirth Vs Handbags
Airline Land of the Long White Cloud took a much deserved rest from racing on race day three as Hellenic Goddess of Childbirth and Handbags battled it out to see which of the two teams could pick up their first points for the regatta. The wind was slightly weaker than the first two races so getting onto the foils and staying there was going to be the deciding factor.
The start was a slightly one-sided affair again with Hellenic Goddess of Childbirth unable to get the hook on Handbags despite announcers believing it was imminent. Although slightly late for the start, Handbags was first to cross the line. Hellenic Goddess of Childbirth’s inability to foil meant that they were hardly even in the race.
Having lost the much-complained about engine noise from the first race, Andy “Port and starboard confuse me” Green tried adding some atmosphere to the broadcast with some heavy nasal breathing, proving to be a real hit with the viewing public.
Despite the best efforts of “commentators” Tucker “What is a gybe again?” Thompson and Andy “Port and starboard confuse me” Green, race 3 turned out to be a somewhat dull one, with less passing than one wold have expected. Handbags went on to take a decisive victory and claim the all-important point to lift them into second place.
In the post-race interview, Handbags skipper Max “I still love you Iain Murray even though I called you a cheater two days ago” Sirena said that although he was dressed like a “silver-studded condom” and felt ridiculous when he saw his reflection on the boat, he still enjoyed the race and was looking forward to taking the challenge to Airline Land of the Long White Cloud when they next meet for Race Four on Saturday.
Hellenic Goddess of Childbirth head Paul “stop picking on me” Cayard again stated that his team was “here to race”, even though they weren’t there to race.
With perfect conditions and a HUGE crowd expected for the weekend races between Airline Land of the Long White Cloud and Handbags on Saturday, and the top-of-the-table versus the bottom-of-the-table clash between Airline Land of the Long White Cloud and Hellenic Goddess of Childbirth on Sunday, there is plenty to look forward to as the Summer of Sailing continues.
July 12th, 2013 by admin
With the jury ruling Luna Rossa and ETNZ’s way, the Italians made their way to the starting line for the third round robin race of the Louis Vuitton Cup, their competitor an Artemis ghost ship. The high point of the race? When ETNZ lined up on the final downwind, nailing a foiling gybe just outside the race course in sight of their Italian sister ship. With Luna Rossa back in the mix, we’ve actually got a real sailboat race happening in just two days; a Kiwi vs. Italian battle will happen this Saturday. And as annoying as “Ruddergate” has been, we’re still pretty psyched to see these bad motherfuckers converging on the start line.
The America’s Cup Jury finally made their decision, releasing the full document around 11 AM this morning, an hour before Luna Rossa was scheduled to be on the start line. And amazingly, their findings were logical, accurate, and exactly as we both hoped for and predicted. Importantly, they’ll have no effect on the racing; Oracle has plenty of time to build Class legal rudders, while Paul Cayard’s paranoid delusions about ETNZ and Luna Rossa being ‘out to get him’ were proven wrong this morning, with Artemis likely allowed to race in its existing configuration. ETNZ committed itself to vote for Cayard’s team to “be given dispensation from the Class Rule regarding rudder elevators so long as they otherwise comply with the Class Rule and the safety recommendation”. Dalton went so far as to urge the other teams to vote for the exception – not like they’d need it. Sirena will do as Dalts asks and Coutts will do what it takes for the LV Cup’s red-headed stepchild to go racing.
Here are the important parts of the findings and decision.
1. Safety provisions authored by the Regatta Director and attached to the Marine Event Permit are not ‘governmental regulations’ that everyone must comply with under the Protocol, therefore they may not alter the AC72 Class Rule without unanimous consent of competitors. The jury based its decision entirely on this fact, and chucked Murray’s new rules on rudder placement, size, and adjustability, as well as the 100kg increase in Max Weight. Coast Guard testimony helped give Murray and GGYC a bit of an “out”. Reasoning, from P.11:
The USCG stated that they do not dictate what is in a Safety Plan and if a component of a Safety Plan could not be implemented, it was incumbent upon the Event Sponsors to communicate with USCG. This would not immediately affect the status of the Marine Event Permit but the event sponsor through consultation would need to restore the Event Sponsor to detail how that issue would be mitigated in respect of risk and there would be further review by USCG.
2. We are impressed by the Jury’s willingness to take on the liability issues that plague race organizers everywhere. We believe the increasing responsibilities for safety being foisted on race management by lawyers and insurers must be resisted, and those who sue yacht clubs, classes, or Race Officers when they are injured by their own or another boat’s actions should be made pariahs from the sailing community and humiliated endlessly in public. The skipper is responsible for the safety of his adult crew — period. From P. 19:
Each Competitor and crew member must remain responsible for their own safety at all times. Each Competitor and crew member must continue to make their own decision to race, or to continue racing. This is a fundamental principle of the sport of sailing and is reflected in the ISAF approved Americas Cup Racing Rules of Sailing (Rule 4). Protocol Article 18.1 also provides that each Competitor taking part in the Event does so at its own risk and responsibility. The Jury cannot emphasize enough the importance of these key principles. While the Regatta Director does have some responsibilities for safety, the above are responsibilities directly required of ‘Yachts’, i.e. Competitors and skippers. To what extent the Regatta Director should seek to protect Competitors from failures of their own responsibilities and decisions within the context of the America’s Cup Rules need not be addressed at this time.
3. Iain Murray may be guilty of impatience and perhaps of letting his emotions or fear of liability getting in the way of good management, but he’s definitely guilty of getting terrible advice from his legal team. Still, Iain Murray has more integrity in his little finger than most ISAF officials have in their entire body. As we wrote the other day, the man is in no one’s pocket, and he’d walk sooner than he’d intentionally stack the deck for one competitor over another. From P. 18:
The Regatta Director showed leadership in choosing to publish the Safety Recommendations and express his concern for the safety of the AC72 Yachts and their sailors. It reflected 46 years of experience of the Regatta Director as a sailor and extensive design experience…In the Jury’s view the Regatta Director has acted independently, with the utmost integrity and with a view to the safety of participating sailors and all others involved with the event being paramount.
4. As we wrote the other day, Murray, working with team advisors, should easily be able to come up with a revised safety plan to attach to the all-important MEP. The Coast Guard is like the honey badger; it doesn’t really give a shit. As long as the jury decision won’t create unguided missiles likely to careen off into the spectator areas, the Coast Guard will stamp it. With Larry’s connections, they’d probably stamp a format that allowed sharpened, 50-foot long ‘jousting sticks’ on the bows. The problem now is face; Murray stated unequivocally that, if the jury ruled against the new rules, he’d have ‘no choice but to go back to the Coast Guard and tell them I don’t consider it safe’. And GGYC, in a submission to the Jury, wrote that “If the Safety Recommendations were cherry-picked, GGYC would face huge liability issues and the Regatta is likely not to continue.” Silly statements and unsound legal decisions aside, how do they continue on their way? From P. 22:
The Jury orders the Regatta Director to make the views of all the Competitors known to the CG with regard to the Marine Event Permit if circumstances necessitate a change to any component of the safety plan along with the assessment on how the change affects the overall safety of the event.
That’s all it takes, folks. Will Murray put this behind him, doing what’s required to move forward with ‘the Summer of Racing’? Will GGYC take a valium and step back from the edge of the cliff?
Have your say here.
July 11th, 2013 by admin