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Posts Tagged ‘Protest’

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Clean Report

It’s been a busy day over in Hobart, even for an island with ‘mania’ in its name.  First, Race Organizer the CYCA finally managed to get Youtube to release the Sydney Harbour race start video that had been in copyright limbo since the start of the race, more than two days ago.  If you weren’t watching, that means you could only see it while it was live – after which point the feed disappeared completely until just a few hours ago.  We withdraw all the props we gave them…

…and give a whole new set of props to the Hobart Jury, who did what most competent juries would have this morning when faced with a blatant port/starboard foul and an unrepentant offender in Mark Richards: They hit the offender hard with a 1-hour penalty, taking away their overall race record time and giving the line honors win and the all-important course record to Comanche. All this despite Richards and team sailing a blinder up the Derwent, using Oats’ light air prowess to grind down Spithill and the almost all-pro Comanche crew and beat them over the line by 18 minutes. Watch Sailor Girl’s coverage of the finish here and her interview with Comanche owner Jim Cooney here.

If you’ve been on an eggnog bender for the past few days you may have missed the moment when Mark Richards and WOXI tactician Ian Murray got caught pulling the full Cat 1 move on live TV with the poorest supermaxi lee bow in history. We’ve pre-set the Yahoo7 coverage video above to the moment of the foul, and what is shocking is not necessarily Ricko’s screwup – after all, it’s been a dog’s life since he’s competed at high level match racing, and without his tatician getting him set up for the situation, he was clearly a bit overloaded before the crash tack.  The real surprise comes from that fact that such an experienced crew, anchored by the guy who developed the foiling America’s Cup penalty system –  wouldn’t just do their 720 and be on their way!  For fuck’s sake they’ve got POWERED WINCHES.  Do your turns and don’t leave the results of a 600+ mile race and an all-important legacy win and outright race record up to the freaking jury at the finish line.  WOXI won by 27 minutes – does anyone think a 720 would have taken that long?

To reiterate our opinion: It wasn’t the foul that hurt WOXI.  It was the failure to take their turns, combined with the idiotic comments of their skipper in both written and TV interviews. To wit, Ricko told ABC: “If that was a blatant infringement then obviously we would do our turn but it actually wasn’t,” 

“In our minds we were clear ahead and we’ve got video footage to prove it.”

“If you read the rule book we did the right thing and that’s all there is to it.”

Maybe not.  And maybe it’s time Ricko did a couple of Grade 3 match races to remind himself how the rules work.

As you’d expect, the Hobart thread on Ocean Racing Anarchy has gone insane, with 500 new posts (from Aussies who hate Kiwis, Kiwis who hate Aussies, and Americans who hate everyone) in just a few hours.  Check in here.

Title shout to a recently dead legend.

UPDATE: Richo and Sandy O respond to their penalty:

December 28th, 2017 by admin

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post-20188-0-05869000-1437896549Who says beach cats can’t race offshore?  Randy Miller’s M32 catamaran horizoned the 100-ish NM Santa Barbara to King Harbor fleet this weekend, beating Bill Gibbs 52-foot cat Afterburner by almost three hours and the first monohull – a TP52 – by almost two and a half. Here’s Randy’s report, from the thread.

We deployed our gennaker right from the start and that kept us moving through the glass at 6-8kts but at least 15 degrees lower than most everyone else.  We made two short miserable tacks back to the fleet through about 120 degrees and then made up our minds that we needed to just keep the boat moving down the course, sail our own race, and that patience and perseverance would win the day.  Credit to our most excellent navigator. So we followed the beach with the gennaker up trying to sail as tight as we could without parking the boat and waiting for the pressure to build and clock North.  It finally happened at around 14:30.  The wind began filling in and clocking North and we got lifted right up to the West end of Anacapa doing 12-15kts close reaching in the light but building breeze.

Near Anacapa we saw a ton of wildlife.  Several whales, a large pod of dolphins, seals jumping out of the water, big fish jumping out of the water.  All very cool to see.

On the back side of Anacapa the wind was steady and mostly West with still some South I think so no lee off of Santa Cruz Island.  We bore away around Anacapa but stayed on Starboard for another 45 minutes making 17-18kts with great VMG towards King Harbor.  Then we gybed in for Malibu and slowly accelerated up to 20-22kts.  We had to gybe twice to clear a freighter in the channel but kept on building speed until we blasted by Pt Dume doing 24-25kts.

From Pt. Dume we had just about a perfect layline all the way into King Harbor that allowed us to come up at the end into the fading breeze to keep the speed on all the way to the bell buoy.

Even with 150lbs of extra safety gear and a painful start, we kept the boat moving and had a blast sailing 97.7 miles at an average speed through the water of 13.4kts.  We had a great crew that sailed well and stayed focused for the whole day.  This after 3 straight days of loading, and trailering, and building, and launching, and staging vehicles and driving around LA.  What a mission! Thanks guys.

This was my first mid-distance race on the boat and it was a fantastic experience.  I can’t wait to do more.  Hopefully the ORCA guys didn’t mind us playing in their sandbox.  Thank you ORCA for helping me satisfy the safety requirements for the race.  Santa Barbara and the whole coast and waters were absolutely beautiful.

post-20188-0-33745100-1437892996The only negative was getting a call from the race committee this morning delivering the infuriating news that one of the TP52s (guess which one) lodged a protest against us saying they were “sure [I] didn’t complete the proper course in the Santa Barbara race and should withdraw.”  And that I “should have rounded Anacapa Island.”

I replied by providing my GPS track.  This satisfied the race committee but not these guys because according to them, “not one person in the fleet saw [us] round Anacapa Island.”  Apparently, the mind cannot comprehend that inshore and in coastal waters an M32 beach cat crushes a TP52 lead mine all day long.

Despite the annoyance of managing the protest today I still managed to take my wife, uncle, and 93-year-old grandpa for a joyride out of Marina Del Rey and get down to King Harbor for the party and to pick up my winning silver octopus cupcake stand trophy.  Good times!


July 28th, 2015 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