An updated notice of race (NOR) and sailing instructions (SI) for the 33rd America’s Cup were published Friday by SNG. These documents were long overdue from SNG, when measured against a demand from New York State Supreme Court of Friday 12/4/09.
Overdue from SNG as well is an agreement with the host city. To Valencia’s credit, the city is doing its best to be an active host, putting 8 million euros on the line and hastily arranging sponsorship to cover those costs even as SNG snubs the host’s most reasonable request to delay the race for a couple of days until the weekend.
Back to the NOR and SI, these documents appear to me to have an unstated purpose of providing the defender something to horse trade against GGYC’s Constructed in Country (CIC) issues. The most objectionable sections SNG has in the NOR and SI includes:
- NOR Section 6.7 contains wind and wave height limits for the race as “not more than 15 knots measured at 60 meters, and in waves of not more than 1 meter in height.” My understanding is that 15 knots at 60 meters height can easily be equivalent to 11-12 knots at sea level.
- In section 7 SNG has “The Measurer shall determine the following”, including “(Challengers boat) has a rig of a single mast and is sloop rigged”, potentially setting a foundation for them to protest the hard sail.
- In sections 7.5(d) and 7.7 the NOR, in clear conflict with a court decision, SNG allows a boat to take on or discharge water ballast while racing. This provokes the question: Is this integral to Alinghi’s design?
- NOR Section 13 requires the boats be kept in their assigned places in the Darsena. GGYC has already set up camp at the commercial port, sighting safety (not security) issues in the Darsena. The Deed of Gift only says: (…) and these races shall be sailed subject to its (the Club holding the Cup) rules and sailing regulations so far as the same do not conflict with the provisions of this deed of gift (…)". I would argue "these races shall be sailed subject…", is very different then "these vessels shall be berthed subject…".
- Moving to the Sailing Instructions (SI) section 1.8. There is a requirement that boat owners agree to “not resort to using any court of law.”. Nice try SNG!
- In section 8.5 the Race Committee may abandon any race prior to the first boat rounding the first mark where in its opinion there is a permanent wind shift of 25 degrees or more. I beg your pardon, SNG, half our Wednesday night racing would be abandoned if our club had such a rule!
- And, in section 26 of the SI its back to berthing. Is SNG afraid the crowds of adoring AC fans will choose to head up to the commercial port to GGYC and leave the defender’s greeting areas empty each night? How embarrassing would that be!
Next up is a meeting today in Singapore where these issues in addition to the CiC questions and the defender’s objection to the hard wing will be discussed between SNG and GGYC.
We can count on more nonsense before February 8th, but can we count on some live video coverage? Or do we have to do it ourselves? If you know of an available airship, please do drop us a line here as OTW Anarchy makes arrangements to show the other guys how the sport of sailing should be covered!
– b393capt, peelman (artwork)