You may recall this little dust up over doublehanded sailors and their place in the Sydney to Hobart race. Read the story and then read below what Hugo van Kretchmar was forced to say. Bummer all the way around.
In November 2020, a Queensland-resident sailor, Mark Hipgrave, posted a video on a website known as Caption Generator, which depicted a scene from a German movie about Hitler. English language captions had been added to the video by Mr. Hipgrave, which had the characters discussing the Sydney to Hobart yacht race and double-handed sailing. The Hitler character was identified by the captions as Matthew Allen AM . The video has subsequently been taken down. Mr. Allen claims that the video defames him, and has commenced defamation proceedings against Mr. Hipgrave over it.
Mr. Hipgrave, who is defending the claim, recently set up a GoFundMe page to seek financial support to assist him to fund his defense of the proceedings. Hugo van Kretschmar, was one of the people who responded to Mr. Hipgrave’s request, and posted some comments on the GoFundMe page, which he also posted on Facebook.
Mr. Allen claims that those comments were also defamatory of him. Mr. Allen and Mr. van Kretschmar have now resolved their differences in respect of Mr. van Kretschmar’s comments, on terms which include the publication of an apology from Mr. van Kretschmar in the following terms:
APOLOGY TO MATTHEW ALLEN AM
On 13 April 2021, I posted comments on a GoFundMe page set up by Mark Hipgrave, and on my own Facebook page, about Matthew Allen AM. My comments were seriously defamatory of Mr. Allen. They suggested that he had unfairly, disingenuously and corruptly influenced the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia to exclude double handed sailing entrants from eligibility for the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race.
I also endorsed the contents of a parody video which had portrayed Mr. Allen as Hitler, and also suggested that Mr. Allen had acted in a bullying and unconscionable manner towards Mr. Hipgrave in the context of a legal dispute between them.
I acknowledge that the suggestions I made about Mr. Allen are false and should never have been made. I accept that Mr Allen has at all times acted appropriately. I unreservedly withdraw the comments I posted and sincerely apologise to Mr. Allen for the hurt and harm they have caused him.
Hugo van Kretschmar