We asked you if Fan Chuan’s barely veiled allegations of cheating about China Cup-winning boat Vanke Longcheer were legitimate gripes or just bitter complaining. One of the world’s winningest one-design sailors was aboard Vanke, and his answer doesn’t leave much open to interpretation. Here’s what Darren “Twirler” Jones wrote us this morning:
Under the China Cup Beneteau 40.7 class rules, Si’s and NOR, any boat competing in the Beneteau 40.7 class, either private or chartered, could use their own sails as long as they measured in under Class Rules. Vanke Longcheer is a private boat and entered this event as a Beneteau 40.7 per class rules and had her own sails; China Cup does not supply sails for private entries – only for charter boats, but even they don’t have to use the supplied sails: 5th placed Beneteau in this regatta BSC is a charter boat and was able to use charter sails, but chose to use a set of North 3dl sails in place of for all races.
On October 27th, 2nd-placed Beneteau Vatti protested both Vanke and BSC on the use of their sails. The protest was dismissed.
Also on the 27th, the race committee made an amendment as follows: Boats that have been provided for competitors by the Organising Committee shall not modify them or cause them to be modified in any way. No fitting may be removed, even if it is subsequently replaced, and no repairs may be undertaken without the permission of the Organising Committee. No changes, additions, or alterations to the spars, hull, sails and fittings shall be made without written approval from the Organising Committee. Again, Vanke is a private boat to which the above amendment does not apply, and again, there was never a ruling from the Jury that Vanke should be using supplied sails. On the last day, the 3rd placed yacht Yo protested Vanke, Vatti and BSC for lacking a steaming light. Protest was dismissed.
Vanke’s sails were measured by a certified ISAF Measurer before this regatta started and were found to be not only legal, but smaller than allowed! The mainsail came in some 100mm undersize on the mid-girth measurement. On top of that, she was scrutinised at the request of another competitor on the morning of 27th by a China Cup Official to check for boat legality by way of safety gear and furnishings, all of which was in place.
In summary, the Beneteau 40.7 division of this regatta is open to all entries wether it is a chartered boat or not. As the rules stand anyone can use their own sails. The regatta organisers do not supply sails to private boats so they can only use their own. In my opinion there was no cheating to note with any of the Beneteau 40.7’s, and Vanke most defiantly sailed to all the rules governed by the China Cup organisers.
You know, there’s even a slim chance that Vanke actually sailed their boat pretty well.