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Different Venue, No More Nonsense

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Different Venue, No More Nonsense

I am writing to follow up the article here on SA "Different Venue, More Nonsense?", where I reported that RAK is out, but the outcome of a decision on the vital rules issues for a fair race seemed to be uncertain.

If not exactly a clean sweep, Golden Gate Yacht Club did in fact come out way ahead in a follow up decision by Justice Shirley on rules motions announced yesterday. Also coming out of ahead is the sport of Sailing and even the ISAF. As a bonus nothing really terrible happened to SNG that should prevent them, should they choose, to hold their head high and move forward with a race in February as neither sailing monster got caught with a rules oriented need for major modification ahead of the race. Of course getting A5 out of RAK is another matter altogether.

Following the SA AC thread you might think SNG got quote "bitched slapped", but a careful reading of the order that came down Tuesday could be fairly summarized as:

SNG: Is squarely the winner of the argument that they are responsible for organizing the races and properly reserved for itself the exclusive authority to set and modify rules for this race going forward as necessary and normal in our sport.

GGYC: Even on those motions GGYC technically lost (limiting the defenders ability to use rules only from their last annual regatta, etc.), GGYC won a clean sweep of those specific rules GGYC argued biased the rules in favor of  SNG (including rudder in LWL, adding ballast after measurement, BOR90 must measure exactly 90 feet) plus more generally (i) the judge is holding ISAF & SNG to representations and adjustments (as part of back peddling they made from the past secret agreement) that previously prevented the America’s Cup ISAF jury from taking remedial actions such as modifying rules in the NOR and (ii) pointedly reminding SNG that the courts decisions are based on the challenging boat’s rights under the RRS to seek redress from the America’s Cup Jury for any prejudice resulting from such rules changes.

Also winners is ISAF & the sport of sailing in that the judge was clearly ruling in favor of the self policing aspects of our sport by both preventing SNG from circumventing them as well as not diminishing SNG’s rights either.

Aw, let me stop this win-win crap.

In plain language SNG’s attempts to disqualify BOR90 and otherwise win the America’s cup before the race ever reached the water was completely undone as motion after motion was awarded firmly in GGYC’s favor. In those few instances GGYC wasn’t granted the relief they sought it was solely because SNG had already back peddled in oral or written arguments to save their hide, and even in these instances the judge memorialized reminders in the text of her court order for SNG (and ISAF) that would essentially constrain future actions of SNG.    

It is not an exaggeration however that the sport of sailing is a winner here, as the judge specifically spells out those self policing aspects of our sport that should be in control from this point forward and/or be accelerated into action before the December 4th date she set to take action next if such self policing controls are not successful in getting this matter out of the court and onto the water.

If this succeeds, I am going to nominate judge Shirley Kornreich for SCOTW. She has rained a fair amount of anarchy onto SNG’s parade, and the sport will definitely be the better for it.  

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