AC  juryen: fra v. John Doerr, Graham McKenzie, Josje Hofland, David Tillett og Bryan Willis. foto ACEA / Gilles Martin-Raget.
AC juryen: fra v. John Doerr, Graham McKenzie, Josje Hofland, David Tillett og Bryan Willis. foto ACEA / Gilles Martin-Raget.

Frontene spisser seg i «Ruddergate»

Juryen startet igår behandlingen av Emirates Team New Zealand og Luna Rossas protester. De håper å ha en konklusjon klar i løpet av onsdag.


De to sakene er slått sammen og vil bli behandlet som en. Partene vil bli avhørt og får anledning til muntlig å fremstille sine saker.

Formannen i den internasjonale juryen, David Tillett sier at høringen vil ta så lang tid som den må, men at man håper å ha en konklusjon i løpet av onsdag 10. juli.

Både Emirates Team New Zealand og Luna Rossa hevder regattasjef Iain Murray gikk utover sine fullmakter da noen av de 37 sikkerhetsbestemmelsene har vist seg å endre klassevedtektene for AC72 klassen.

Regattasjefen hevder at endringene er nødvendig for å gjennomføre en trygg regatta og er i tråd med reglene for regattaen.

Vi gjentar kommentarene fra Scuttlebuttredaktøren Craig Leweck og Team Artemis´ Paul Cayard i sin helhet:

America’s Cup: Who Is To Blame For This Mess?

By Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt

Back when New York Yacht Club was the keeper of the America’s Cup, they chose their defender by committee. One by one, the straw hats (NYYC committee members) would excuse the lesser teams. No need to waste time on teams unable to compete.

Fast forward to now. If the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series was run this way, the Artemis Racing team would have been excused last month. They’ve been riding an impossible timeline since last year, and their May 9 training accident would have been the final straw (so to speak).

But not only is the challenger series not run this way, the Swedish team has derailed what momentum the 34th America’s Cup had. “The mess this regatta finds itself in is due in large part to Artemis’ institutional incompetence…,” notes Dana Johannsen of the New Zealand Herald.

The horrific accident last month has not only disrupted the sailing schedule, but has led to an overhaul of the event safety standards, some of which are being argued as unnecessary by Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa Challenge.

The International Jury for the America’s Cup began hearing these protests on Monday, which have been consolidated together with the Kiwis and Italians given the opportunity to speak to their submissions. “We’d like to have a decision on Wednesday,” said International Jury chairman David Tillett.

Both Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa are arguing Regatta Director Iain Murray exceeded his authority when some of his 37 Safety Rules effectively changed the AC72 Class Rule. The Regatta Director argues the changes are necessary to run a safe regatta and are in line with the Rules of the event.

Given the troubles that Artemis Racing had already demonstrated – broken wing, structural issues, and slow design – why has their accident provoked such a strong reaction by the event organizers?

“I don’t think anything we have done is an overreaction at all,” asserted Murray. “What may have been an under reaction is what happened after the Oracle capsize (on October 16, 2012). I think we are now doing a whole lot of things that should have been done earlier. For the changes that we have now done, maybe we could have prevented the Artemis accident. I don’t know, but I certainly don’t believe our efforts now are an overreaction.”

The enormity of the Artemis Racing accident – destroyed boat and death of crewman Andrew Simpson – has been a significant wake-up call. “The accident has now motivated all parties to take ownership of safety and have treated it very seriously, which it needs to be,” said Murray.

But were some of the 37 Safety Rules already in the works? “I think it is fair to say that there was a continual work in progress with meetings among the teams,” explained Murray. “Areas of discussion involved the emergency support around the race course, plus concerns about guest racers and the mark boats. So yes, we were already concerned about accidents and what adjustments were needed in these areas.

“Since the accident we have obviously stepped it up, and have very much taken the attitude that these boats can capsize, that it can occur again, and that we need to introduce as best we can all systems to give the teams every bit of assistance to prevent a capsize, and if they do capsize, that the boats remain as long as possible in one piece to insure that the crew can safely return back to shore.”

Expect the next race to be a one-boat race for the Kiwis on July 9 (12:15 start) as Artemis Racing does not yet have their second boat ready to compete.  All challenger round robin races will be broadcast on YouTube until further notice.

We Came To Race

Paul Cayards brev i sin helhet:

The 34th America's Cup is about to get under way in San Francisco. At Artemis Racing, we have had our heads down, working hard to finish a new boat and wing in order to get back out on the water and compete in this event that we have worked hard on for three years.

In general, when you are as busy as we are, you don't have time to get involved in media and spin. However, some of what is being said is erroneous, insulting, and downright disrespectful. I need to stand up for my team and state some facts.

On May 22, Iain Murray, Regatta Director for the 34th America's Cup, issued 37 Safety Recommendations. These are the product of interviews of 25 personnel from all four teams, which were conducted by a panel that included just one member associated with a team: Jim Farmer of Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ).

The first person to commend the Safety Recommendations was Grant Dalton, CEO of ETNZ. He publicly congratulated Murray for his work and said "you won't get any push back from ETNZ on this".

Now, five weeks later, Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa (LR) have lodged protests over two of the 37 recommendations and seek for these two Safety Recommendations to be eliminated. The two rules are permissive rules. They work hand in hand with other rules, which place new requirements on the size of the elevators. The inclusion of these rules excludes no one. Yet, excluding these rules, and keeping the other 35, will exclude Artemis Racing.

So I ask, who is trying to force whom out of the 34th America's Cup?

These rules are not about one team. They are about bringing safety to the fleet and the event. The Regatta Director and his panel conducted a thorough and unbiased analysis, and were inclusive in the recommendations and rule changes. There are accusations being cast about that the Regatta Director's Safety Recommendations are a conspiracy to promote Oracle or Artemis Racing. These are slanderous and paranoid. Iain Murray is a man of the highest integrity and everyone in the sport knows that.

In making the Safety Recommendations at this late stage, Murray needed to make sure all teams could comply with his rule changes. The AC72's in the fleet are not identical. They are not one design like the AC45's. So some of the rules, such as minimum draft and the area of the elevators, are requirements. Other rules, like the two in question by ETNZ and LR, are there to create room for teams to comply with the requirements at this late stage of the game. Artemis Racing doesn't like all the Safety Recommendations, but we recognize that many of the recommendations work together. Therefore, we have said that we support the entirety of the recommendations. On May 24, in good faith, Artemis Racing began modifications on one set of its rudders and elevators to comply with the Safety Recommendations. These are long lead-time projects. So now Artemis Racing has two sets rudder elevators: one that complies with the Safety Recommendations in their entirety, and one that complies with the rules as they were before the Safety Recommendations were issued. Artemis Racing cannot comply with the third case, which ETNZ and LR are now trying to force on the competition.

The fact is that if ETNZ and LR get what they want, Artemis Racing will be excluded from competition. The two teams took a similar path to exclude Artemis Racing three weeks ago when they proposed a schedule change that would have started eliminatory racing on July 19, rather than the previously scheduled August 6. They tried to camouflage this move by saying that they were helping Artemis Racing by delaying the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup. It was quite the opposite.

Finally, contrary to what has been said in various sailing media, there never has been a ban on elevators on rudders in the AC72 Class Rule. All AC72's have rudder elevators because the Class Rule allows them. And ETNZ wasn't the first to figure out how to foil without elevators. No AC72 has ever foiled without them.

For Artemis Racing, our priority is safety and our goal is to race. Our challenges have been great enough to overcome on their own. We look forward to being out there soon!