That got yer attention, didn’t it? Don’t know about the timing of this, but it seems weird…
Oracle Team USA‘s AC45 yachts have withdrawn, retrospectively, from the last four AC World Series regattas. This follows an internal investigation led by CEO Russell Coutts, which determined that prior to racing in the regattas the yachts were modified without the permission of the Measurement Committee. The withdrawal is in spite of the fact that the modifications had no impact on the performance of the boats.
The AC45s are a class of 45-foot training yachts used in previous world circuit regattas and have not raced since Naples in April 2013. They are distinct from the AC72 yachts (72-footers) being raced in this year’s Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup.
The modifications were made over a year ago by a small number of team members involved in the AC45 circuit, without the knowledge of management or the skippers, and without having followed standard internal procedures. “Our team is very disappointed by this turn of events, and I believe that voluntarily withdrawing from these past AC45 regattas is the appropriate corrective action,” Coutts said. “Going forward we remain focused on our AC72 training in preparation for the upcoming America’s Cup this September.”