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Posts Tagged ‘America’s Cup’

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Inside sources just confirmed the AC International Jury has slapped Oracle Racing with a two-point penalty for their illegal AC45 modifications.

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:  

  1. 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

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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

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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

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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.”

You can read all the outrage and comment here.  And props to Tool for the tune that captures Oracle’s AC45 campaign.  Thanks to WetHog for the photo.

 

August 9th, 2013 by admin

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 Peacemakers

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

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Protests, boycotts, accusations of cheating and corruption, threats to withdraw…welcome to yet another typical America’s Cup opener!

Unsurprising but still confusing for the average fan, understanding the current mess requires some editing to remove the vast amount of white noise and diversion.   Fortunately, that’s a skill that we here at Sailing Anarchy have in abundance.

If you’re good at deciphering solid debate from insane spewing, the IJ thread is probably the best discussion about the Luna Rossa and ETNZ protests.  Clean’s interview with Radio Sports NZ embedded above covers the subject decently in a few minutes for the casual fan; for the audio impaired or those looking for a little more clarity, here are a few things you can do for an easy understanding of the issues:

1) Quit accusing Iain Murray of cheating!

The man is not on the take, nor has his brain been taken over by nano-bots developed by an Oracle subsidiary.  We can’t find a single person who has ever known Murray who will accuse him of anything less than fairness and impartiality.  His rules move may have been misguided, but it wasn’t because he was in anyone’s pocket.  As Goethe said, “Misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent.”  Oh, and after you take off your tinfoil hats, ask Paul Cayard to take his off too.  They may be out to get you, but bitching about it makes you look even worse than you already do.

2) Don’t think this is about competition, or major competitive advantage.

These protests are entirely about procedure and precedent.  Despite early informal assent to the main points, LR and ETNZ did not agree to two of Murray’s safety recommendations, and when they were incorporated via the back door of the Marine Event Permit (MEP) application process, ETNZ believes they  caused a change to the AC72 Class Rule without the required procedure.  Whether the changes are about safety or not is completely irrelevant.  Whether the Coast Guard likes them or not is irrelevant.  You know what else is irrelevant?  Whether a decision in ETNZ’s favor will cause a cancellation of the Cup and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.  The jury is not even allowed to consider it.  In our opinion, only one question really matters to Dalton and Sirena:  Can the Regatta Director make decisions that will change the nature of AC34′s essential governing agreements and documents without following the rules contained therein for such changes?

3) If you need to blame someone, blame the group that came up with the safety panel process and implemented it so poorly.

Red Flag 1:  These were called ‘recommendations of Iain Murray.”  Not “Recommendations of Expert Safety Panel”, not “Mandatory Safety Requirements from Safety Experts.”  They came from one man in permissive language, and Iain still wonders why they were not more fully embraced.  Never mind the insurance issues:  You started off on the wrong foot.  Red Flag 2:  Before discussing the details of the safety recommendations with key people inside the teams, Murray released them to the public, along with a statement saying they would be sent over as conditions for the Coast Guard’s Marine Event Permit (MEP) – an essential license for the event.  We don’t know who advised Murray that his changes would pass easily, but after the dictatorial, heavy-handed move of stapling them to the MEP application, an agreement was never going to happen.  You can’t tell people that their opinion doesn’t matter and then, a month later, tell them you would like them you need their agreement.

4) Through all of this, we can’t, for the life of us, understand where the hell the jury has been.

The protests were filed ages ago.  Everyone knew they were coming more than two weeks ago – even before ETNZ announced it on June 27th.  So with the first schedule race on the 7th and a protest involving the Regatta Director, the Measurement Committee, and both teams scheduled to race, what does the Jury do?  They don’t show up until July 8th.  Seriously, folks;  What the fuck?  Hasn’t anyone in San Francisco worked an America’s Cup before?  Did the folks responsible for protests and the Jury not understand that every single AC in recent memory has some kind of rules or legal drama at the outset?  Were their jobs officiating in Marstrand or Kiel or wherever that much more important than the first match of the Louis Vuitton Cup, or was the ridiculous delay in this part of the process due to yet another lack of proper funding from the organizers for yet another essential part of AC34?

5) Don’t get sucked into the discussion about safety.

If existing AC72 rudders were unsafe, Murray himself wouldn’t have gone back on his own recommendations and allowed them after at first recommending they be illegal.  If the AC72 Class Rule is inherently unsafe, ETNZ wouldn’t be nailing foiling gybes and hitting 42.7 with no drama.  These two rules may help all teams have a less dramatic heavy-air bearaway, but you know what else would do that?  Moth-style automatic ride-height controlled flapped foils.  The boats would be a hell of a lot quicker too.  What about chopping off 5 meters of wing?  That would make the bearaway easier too – way easier.  Would either of those changes pass a Class vote even though they would make everyone that much more safe?  Hell no.  Should they be attached to the MEP, anyway?  Hell no.

In our opinion, the decision is a simple one:  We can we find no justification in the Deed, Protocol, Class Rule, or Notice of Race that allows Murray or anyone else to modify a Class Rule without the consent of the teams.

Jury Duty

The jury basically has two choices; either Murray’s MEP is a valid exercise of his power as Regatta Director, or it ain’t.

1) If they find Murray’s recommendations valid, chances are ETNZ will sail the LV mostly alone.  Artemis will try to get to the line and be lucky if they do so by August.  Bertelli will take his ball and bat and go home unless Dalts can convince him otherwise.  Hell hath no fury like an Italian scorned.

2) If they find for ETNZ and Luna Rossa, Murray can either (1) figure out a way to amend the MEP to accept the previous rules – a tough one considering the hardline stance he took the other day and the Coast Guard’s reluctant and out-of-place role in all this (2) work with the teams and the CG on a solution to be implemented as soon as practicable – also unlikely given the bad blood, (3) resign and let the next guy deal with it, or (4) stand his ground with whoever is his boss (ummm…anyone?) and get fired so that someone else can get this regatta back on its feet.

We’d hate to see Murray go; We still believe Murray to be a straight shooter, someone who would quit before cheating.  And we’ll always prefer a sailor to a politician in any job.  Politicians are like lawyers, though; sometimes – particularly when you are dealing with lots of egos and lots of money, you need a really good one.  Jury shot from Gilles Martin-Raget.

 

 

July 10th, 2013 by admin

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To: The fans

From: The organizers

Message: Nothing to see here

July 7th, 2013 by admin

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Healthy Living Tip: Eating carbon fiber may be hazardous to your health.

Because of the Anarchists’ penchant for hilarious captions, our friends at One Medical, official docs of the America’s Cup, are giving away some free swag like a ‘day on the bay’ alongside Oracle Racing, including two nights’ hotel in ‘Frisco and airfare.

Other prizes include some cool Oracle swag.  to those of you that can knock it out of the park in their #MyHealthyHabit photo/caption contest. We’ll start it off with ours, above. More info about the contest can be found here and submissions can be made here. Have fun!

 

May 1st, 2013 by admin

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Grant’s boys on ETNZ continue to keep the pressure up on the America’s Cup defender, and Oracle won’t be happy to see that NZ’s second AC72 has just been delivered from Cookson’s to the Kiwi’s Auckland base.  In contrast to the US team, we’re quite happy – every day ETNZ gets on Oracle gets them that much closer to an exciting, close match rather than the Defender walkover that many feared.  More details in the AC Anarchy thread.

January 16th, 2013 by admin

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