There has been a lot of speculation about the impartiality of the America’s Cup PRO Harold Bennett given that he is being paid by Ernesto. But after an incident on the RC boat this week, we can safely put any such speculation of Harold being owned by Ernesto to rest.
It turns out that contrary to popular belief, and probably including his own understanding of his role in managing the races, Harold will not be making the determination of when the races will start or stop based on the weather. It now comes to light that the decision about when a race will start or be abandoned will rest with the “SNG Race Committee”, of which Harold is only one vote. One wonders what the International Jury thinks of this arrangement and if they knew that the PRO was not really calling the race day shots, and more importantly, what this could mean in the scheme of the things for the BFD suit that looms large on the horizon.
Earlier this week, while aboard the RC boat, Fred Meyer, who is the key member of the SNG “Race Committee” was wearing an Alinghi jacket. To his credit, Harold made Fred turn the jacket inside out so that the Alinghi colors were not showing. So now the world is watching not Harold, but instead, Fred, to see if the America’s Cup races are run fairly. For anyone who doesn’t know Fred, that’s a picture of him during happy hour. Anyone else notice the uncanny resemblance to Judge Smails, of “Caddyshack” fame?