Stacked Deck


Stacked Deck

The Alinghi/ISAF ‘Secret Deal’ is no longer secret, and as expected, the agreement gives SNG wide-ranging unilateral powers over both ISAF and GGYC in the running and judging of the next Cup match.  We’re not going to analyze it too deeply – that’s already happening here in the AC forum by lawyers, race officials, and random AC freaks, and you can read the AC32 agreement to compare it to the newly unsecret ISAF agreement.  But the Anarchists have already picked out a couple of big problems:  SA’er "Clancy" points out that one section is the "killer in the agreement" because it "gives SNG carte blanche to do whatever they want and ISAF can’t say ‘no’."  Why?  Because that same clause expressly requires ISAF to sign off on any Amendment to the RRS or existing interpretation of the Rules that SNG feels like dreaming up.  The clause is so obviously unfair that SNG have already tried to backpedal from it in their recent letter/press release, writing that the pre-approved amendment clause "is not likely to be used."  As Clancy explains, "I’ll remember that next time I am negotiating a contract – "you are signing over everything to us but don’t worry, we’re unlikely to ask for it all."

And then there’s the humor – which there always seems to be a bit of whenever ISAF is involved.  The agreement prohibits nationals of either the US or Switzerland from participating in the jury or umpiring of the event, and even includes US territories by name.  But where is Porto Rico?  Is that near Puerto Rico?

It’s one thing to misspell a word, even in a document that should have been proofread a dozen times to ensure no errors slipped through.  It’s another for the folks who ostensibly run our sport – the ultimate arbiters of the Rules that govern the most important matches in sailing – don’t even know their own regulations. As  ‘Karua’ points out,  this bumbling agreement, effective as of May, 2009, refers in section 9 (c) to the advertising category of the match as "Category A or Category C…under Regulation 20."  Who wants to tell Jerome Pels that Category A and C were removed from ISAF’s regulations in January, 2009?  Don’t they know their own regulations?

And these are the people entrusted to run the most contentious America’s Cup in history competently?  Right.