Posts Tagged ‘America’s Cup’
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
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.
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.
July 10th, 2013 by admin
To: The fans
From: The organizers
Message: Nothing to see here
- Tags: America's Cup
July 7th, 2013 by admin
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
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