Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Caen’

Actual Sailors Weigh In on Christopher Caen’s Bizarre Attack on the Respected America’s Cup International Jury

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Well, I guess you have to start off with this:

Cup of Caen: Follow the Money

So that’s what I’m calling a Bizarre Attack on the Respected America’s Cup International Jury.*

(Speaking of our ill-starred America’s Cup, here’s the latest estimate on how much money we’re going to lose on it, from SF Weekly’s Joe Eskenazi.)

Of course, all the jurors are Sailors.

Is Chris Caen, son of Famous Writer Herb Caen, a Sailor? I don’t know. He sailed a bit in colledge and probably some since, but IDK.

Am I a Sailor? Nope, but oddly enough, I have more experience sailing cats around San Francisco Bay (even if you throw in his recent quid pro quo joyride on an overly-expensive, overpowered and fragile “AC72″ boat, which I don’t).

Oh, but here are some Sailors, and here’s their reaction to what you can find in the link above:

“ISAF’s been shoved in the background over a few AC cycles now. Caen’s premise is way off base. If ISAF wanted to ‘get back at’ or ‘discredit’ the EA, they’ve had a couple of cup cycles to do so.”

“Wow! That really IS tinfoil hat material, isn’t it?”

“Of course the ISAF’s trying to elbow the ACEA out of the picture for the money. Yes, “follow the money!” Starting with the millions San Francisco taxpayers sunk into this unlucrative venture, the tens of thousands the ACEA is spending on unpopulated spectator facilities, etc, etc. Oh, and those fat broadcast contracts? Anyone else notice that the principal sponsor for the U.S. LVC coverage was ORACLE?”

“Yes, he is way, way off the mark on this one.”

I don’t know if Caen is just stupid, lazy, or deceitful, but that article is so full of fallacies and false pretense that it is embarrassing.  He mentions the Oneworld scandal of stolen design information, but then says points have never been taken away from boats in the AC in this way (Oneworld was penalized one point exactly in the same way Oracle has been penalized – two points in each round they would have gotten to including the AC…the fact they didn’t get to the AC is irrelevant as the penalty was there).  He claims ACEA is a new way of managing the cup, but it follows very similarly to the model set forth by Alinghi with ACM.”

“What a ridiculous article. All you need to do is look at the IJ members and their past to know that these are not ISAF lackeys. Guys like Bryan Willis have been involved with the AC for years and years and are not part of the whole ISAF scene. The article couldn’t be further from the truth and is a rather pathetic piece of journalism.”

With sloppy journalism like this, I suspect he could have easily been “fed the story” by someone else with an agenda. Journalism around the world aint what it used to be.”

“…conversant with things like ISAF, AC protocols, the IJ, the ACRM and the ACEA, yet he wrote as though he had a really good handle on things. He clearly did not. HuffPost should be straightened out on that fact, but not by me. Mr Caen should clearly be educated before he passes out more incorrect ,critical, information/disinformation.”

“Quite. It’s a very silly piece indeed. The assumption that it is the IJ that wanted confidentiality is risible and the conflation of the IJ with ISAF is either ignorant or mischievous. Oh and it’s not “respected mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder”. I’m afraid it is “formerly respected mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder.”

“My general feeling is I don’t expect the average person let alone viewer to have an intimate understanding of the history of the Cup, but then I also don’t expect them to write an opinion piece on the subject either.  If you are going to write such and article, and portray an opinion such as his, then you damn well better check your facts.  He had some clue as to the Oneworld case as he mentions it as a past transgression, but didn’t bother to do the research to determine what the penalty was.  My point is we shouldn’t respect an opinion that is so ill informed as the basis of his opinion is wrong.  You can’t come to an informed opinion if you are not informed.”

“I replied to his twitter link to the article yesterday that he should check his facts with regard to the OneWorld case and a similar penalty which was retweeted by the SFCitizen, but have not received a response.  I would think a respectable journalist would want to make a correction if he was ill informed.  I am not a professional journalist, but have written a few articles for sailing mags (and won two marine writers awards for them) and if I made a mistake, especially one that was important to my conclusions, I would certainly do everything in my power to correct that.”

The jury is an ACEA body hired by GGYC and Oracle in conjunction with their challenger of record/poodle and now you say they are ISAF? I hope ISAF (the real ISAF jury) goes ahead and penalize all of the perpetrators even further so that there is NO mistake who is who.”

Oh, and here’s “Bob303,” who may or may not be a Sailor:

“The penalty only doesn’t make sense if you seek a lack of sense. Oracle created the situation by which they have been penalised when they wrote the protocol for this cup cycle. It is entirely their own doing.

Their efforts to intertwine the America’s Cup World Series (AC45s) and the America’s Cup (AC72s) to attract more sponsors/viewer, plus making it a requirement for entry to the AC that teams field at least one boat in the AC45 series, clearly joined the two at the hip. That was a specific intention of the protocol they wrote. It ensured all teams conducted themselves in a sporting manner throughout the cup cycle and couldn’t get away with stuff which attracted bad PR (or worse, cheating) in the ACWS and then just say “different series guys.”

Similarly, there HAVE been instances of teams being docked points for future round in the America’s Cup. In Valencia 2007 a One World team-member was found in possession of property of Team NZ property. They were docked a point for every stage of the round robin series (3 points in all) before they even started racing.

Just saying this since the writer took a position which ignored salient details which didn’t suit the story narrative. Coutts & Oracle didn’t attempt the “different series” defence line because they knew how ironic it would haven been to attempt that given they wrote the protocol that has now seen them pinged for clear cheating according to the Jury.”

And here’s a simple lament: “Oh please.

Yep.

*Here they are, the International Jury. Remember to “follow the money” if that makes any kind of sense.

David Tillett (Australia) Chairman
A lawyer in Australia, David has been an International Judge for over 20
years and was the Chairman of the ISAF Racing Rules Committee from
2000 until 2012. He is presently a member of the ISAF Council and ISAF
Constitution Committee. He has been a juror at the 31st, 32nd and 33rd
America’s Cups as well as an Umpire at the 28th and
29th America’s Cups. He has been a Jury Member at five Olympic Games, and
Chairman in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

John Doerr (Great Britain)
A graduate Mechanical Engineer specialising in project management
and management development for the petrochemical and construction
industries. John was a dinghy World Champion in 1978 and Olympic
trialist in the Finn class in 1980 and 1984. He has been an International
Judge since 1987 and an International Umpire since 1990. He is a past
Chairman of the ISAF Race Officials Committee and currently a member of the ISAF
Racing Rules and Race Officials Committees. John was Jury Chairman and Chief
Umpire for the 29th America’s Cup and a Jury Member for the 33rd America’s Cup. He
has served on the International Jury at the last five Olympic Games.

Josje Hofland (The Netherlands)
Josje has a ‘Doctoraal’ degree in English Literature and Linguistics. She
has been an International Judge since 1992 and was an International
Umpire between 1992 and 2000. She is a past Chairman of ISAF Judges
and Umpires sub-committees and past member of the Racing Rules and
Race Officials Committee. She was a Jury member
in the 29th and 33rd America’s Cup. For the 29th America’s Cup she filled the role of
Chief Umpire in the Challenger Finals and Deputy Chief Umpire in the America’s Cup
Match. Josje has also been a member of the Jury in four Olympic Games.

Graham McKenzie (New Zealand)
Graham is a Barrister at Law and a Solicitor in New Zealand and has
extensive experience as a commercial lawyer. He holds a Masters of
Law degree from Warwick University, England and is a Notary Public. He
is a Director of companies listed on the stock exchange and unlisted
companies in the hotel, aviation and finance sector businesses. Graham
is a competing sailor in keelboats. He is a member of the ISAF
Constitution Committee. He was a member of the combined Jury and Arbitration
Panel for the 32nd America’s Cup & and member of the Jury for the 33rd America’s
Cup.

Bryan Willis (Great Britain but lives in Malaysia)
A Marine Arbitrator and a past Magistrate (judge) in the lower criminal
court in Great Britain, Bryan has been an International Umpire, and an
International judge since 1976. He was an integral member of the ISAF
Racing Rules Committee for 20 years, and has chaired the Race
Officials Committee and Race Management sub-committees. Bryan
was a Jury member and Chief Umpire in the 28th America’s Cup, Chairman of the
Jury and Chief Umpire in the 30th and 31st America’s Cups, Chairman of the
combined Jury and Arbitration Panel for the 32nd America’s Cup and member of the
Jury for the 33rd America’s Cup. He was a Jury member for the 1992 and 1996
Olympic Games and Jury Chairman of the 2000 Olympic Games and three Volvo
Ocean Races.

Point/COUNTERPOINT: HuffingtonPost Writer Christopher Caen on the Failed and Debaculous America’s Cup Deal

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

LEAVE US BEGIN:

Friday afternoon the word went out about the lawsuit filed to stop the America’s Cup. And let’s be perfectly clear, chasing the Cup out of town was the exact purpose of that effort, because the requests to satisfy that lawsuit would have blown the Cup deadlines to pieces.

GREAT. NONE OF THE PROPOSALS WERE VERY GOOD. WERE THEY?

By Monday afternoon however, the lawsuit had almost become moot, because the America’s Cup organizers dropped the news on our unsuspecting mayor that they were pulling out of almost all the development anticipated around the races.

I THINK THERE WAS A LOT OF “SUSPECTING” ON SUNDAY – ANYWAY, THE MAYOR _WASN’T_ SURPRISED. HE’S MORE CLEVER THAN HE LETS ON…

The first wave of tweets announcing the lawsuit did not come from San Francisco; instead the first barrage of tweets came from San Diego. This is not terribly surprising because if we do manage to screw this up, San Diego is going to roar in and take our event away from us, given that they already have shore facilities they have been expanding since they hosted the Cup in 1988.

WHO CARES WHAT SAN DIEGO DOES? AND HOW IS THIS “OUR” EVENT? WHO CARES IF SAN DIEGO WANTS TO HOST THE RACE?

It would not be the first time. After all, we lost out to New York City for the right to bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

ACTUALLY, WE WON THAT ONE.

And then we followed that up by enthusiastically coming up short by a country mile for the right to bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

WELL, BRAZIL WANTED IT TOO, RIGHT? THEY’VE NEVER HAD ONE BEFORE. DON’T THEY DESERVE A CHANCE?

This performance mirrored our still unexplained belly flop on the bid to host the World Cup, where people still don’t know whether we actually submitted our bid or not.

OOH, THE WORLD CUP? BUT DIDN’T THE BAY AREA ALREADY HAVE ONE OF THESE?

Right in the middle of all this we also managed to chase the San Francisco Grand Prix bicycle race out of town. So it’s not like we don’t have a track record at screwing this sort of thing up.

WHY DO WE NEED ANY OF THESE EVENTS? OH, AND YOU’RE FORGETTING ABOUT THE WORLD EXPO. YOU KNOW, THE EVENT THAT CHINA LOST A BUNDLE ON, AND BEFORE THAT, THE JAPANESE, AND BEFORE THAT, THE GERMANS.

And at this point it has gone past just your garden variety NIMBY-ism to become a genuine threat to the growth of our city.

WHY DO WE NEED TO GROW?

Which brings us back to the Cup. Three things have to be made clear here. First off, enough of the “we hate Larry Ellison” blather.

WHY’S THAT? HE _IS_ A DEFECTIVE HUMAN BEING, RIGHT?

We can’t negotiate with the America’s Cup because they are backed by a billionaire?

NO, IT’S BECAUSE HE’S A BILLIONAIRE IS WHY HE EXPECTS US TO PAY NINE FIGURES FOR A BOAT PARTY IN HIS HONOR.

Newsflash for the irretrievably clueless: with the exception of the Green Bay Packers, every sports team in the country is owned by a bazillionaire.

THAT’S FINE, BUT WHAT HE WAS OFFERING WAS WAY OFF. IT WASN’T EVEN CLOSE.

It’s odd, isn’t it? When we hear about the city negotiating with the 49ers, the Giants, or even the Warriors, the net worth of their owners never enters the conversation. 

THE WARRIORS AREN’T ASKING US TO PAY FOR THEM. THE GIANTS AND THE NINERS AREN’T EITHER. WHY IS IT THAT THE 1% SPORTS NEED THE MONEY OF THE 99% BUT THE 99% SPORTS ARE ON THEIR OWN?

But when it’s Ellison, people head to the barricades. This is just another sports team, one where none of the sailors racing in the cup make as much as your average football player makes on one Sunday.

IT’S A DECIDEDLY UNPOPULAR TEAM, ONE THAT NOBODY KNOWS OR CARES ABOUT. WHO ARE THE “PLAYERS?” NOBODY KNOWS OR CARES. WHY SHOULD SAN FRANCISCO EDUCATE PEOPLE ABOUT A SINGLE RACE THAT A SOLITARY BILLIONAIRE CONTROLS?

Yes it’s Larry, yes everyone seems to hate him, but it should have no bearing on this.

WELL, IF HE WERE KICKING MONEY IN, THEN PEOPLE WOULD LIKE HIM MORE. WHY DIDN’T HE OFFER A HALF BILLION OR SOMETHING?

Second, let’s talk about the development deal that just went off the table. People seem to be all bent out of shape about what we were giving up, but here is the thing: We actually didn’t give up anything, as those piers are unusable today. One Supervisor gave me the actual price tag to fix up all the piers on the waterfront, and it’s enough to make your hair stand on end (hint, it’s over $2 billion). The city does not have the money to fix them, and it probably never will. Someone is going to wind up developing those piers for profit instead of the city, and that’s just the sad truth.

WELL THAT’S OK. ANYTHING’S BETTER THAN THE AMERICA’S CUP DEAL.

Third, in current San Francisco fashion, we are only looking at the short-term. Having Ellison’s group lay in some serious investment, including development deals, means greater incentive for them to stay in San Francisco if they successfully defend the Cup.

THE AMERICA’S CUP IS A JOKE, RIGHT? IS IT A LEGITIMATE SPORT IN THE FIRST PLACE?

All this development is for this Cup. If we get another Cup, or even two down the road, then the city makes out like a bandit. But by pulling all their development off the table, the Cup organizers have shaken the hook out of their mouth.

FLY AWAY FISHY. YOU DON’T WANT TO BE HERE, IT LOOKS LIKE, SO WHY DON’T YOU LEAVE?

Once again, San Diego is grinning and rubbing their hands in anticipation.

‘CAUSE THEY MADE SOOOOOO MUCH MONEY ON THAT RECENT WORLD SERIES EVENT WHAT NOBODY WENT TO SEE?

We have arrived at the point where today the only development deal that has a chance of being approved is one that is utterly perfect in every way.

OK.

Zero emission. Local hiring. Affordable housing. Bicycle racks and LEED-certified and non-radiating cell phones and whatever else our elected officials can think of tossing in. It’s ridiculous.

THE PROPOSED AMERICA’S CUP DEAL, _THAT’S_ WHAT’S RIDICULOUS. AND THE CENTRAL SUBWAY TO NOWHERE, THAT’S RIDICULOUS TOO.

And it’s also not coincidental that the same day we get the news about the Cup, Salesforce.com announces they are halting their new development in Mission Bay.

ACTUALLY, DUDE. IT _IS_ COINCIDENTAL.

At some point it has to stop. To never change anything, to never create new development with a new tax base and new jobs and new residents is to risk us becoming the Detroit of the West, with the Hibernia Bank Building as our Parthenon of Passivity.

THAT BUILDING HAS OTHER ISSUES, BUT ANYWAY.

What, you don’t know that building?

I THINK MOST PEOPLE IN TOWN KNOW THAT BUILDING. IT’S THE ONE THAT PATTY HEARST DIDN’T ROB

You should, as it stands as another icon of our inability to get rational development completed in this town.

WELL THAT’S ONE OPINION. BUT DO YOU WANT THE CITY TO PAY TO FIX UP THIS BUILDING? THAT WOULD BE LOTS CHEAPER THAN THE AMERICA’S CUP OR THE CENTRAL SUBWAY.

Even worse, at some point our reputation for being impossible to work with will make all of this a self-fulfilling prophecy. You don’t think that’s likely? When we were shot down for the 2016 Olympics, one of the reasons cited by the bid committee was a “damaged reputation” due to failed negotiations surrounding the 49ers’ stadium.

WELL MAYBE WILLIE BROWN SHOULDN’T HAVE FIXED THAT ELECTION. WHY NOT LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE IN THE FIRST PLACE?

In other words, if you can’t even get a stadium figured out with own team, how are you going to figure out an Olympics?

WHY DO WE NEED THE OLYMPICS? WOULDN’T MOST OF THE BENEFITS ACCRUE TO THE POLITICAL AND BUSINESS AND MEDIA CLASS? HOW WOULD SAN FRANCISCANS AS A WHOLE BENEFIT?

Then again, we never did figure out the stadium either, did we?

CRIME DOESN’T ALWAYS PAY FOR CORRUPT WILLIE BROWN, I GUESS THAT’S ONE LESSON.

A boat race is a strange place to draw the line. But the Cup really does represent all the political insanity that we seem to trade in these days. Don’t do business with the 1%.

NOT ON THESE TERMS, THAT’S RIGHT, DON’T DO BUSINESS WITH THEM.

Fight anything that smacks of gentrification. Make decisions that are more policy statements than legislation. Get a bunch of piers fixed that we can’t afford to repair? That sounds like a horrible idea.

UNDER THE TERMS NEGOTIATED, YES IT WAS.

All those construction jobs you just wiped out?

THEY WEREN’T WIPED OUT BECAUSE THEY NEVER EXISTED IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Not a big deal either, because we showed Larry.

ACTUALLY, WE _DID_ SHOW LARRY, THAT FUCKING DOUCHE.

At night we can return to our homes, and smugly watch as our piers collapse into the bay one after another. On the other hand, it will give us something to do before the Cup comes on television.

NOBODY WILL WATCH THE AMERICA’S CUP ON TELEVISION. (BY THE WAY, THE AMERICA’S CUP PEOPLE ARE _PAYING_ NBC TO BROADCAST THIS EVENT. WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU?)

Live from San Diego.

GOOD FOR THEM.

OH HEY, MR. CAEN, WHAT ABOUT THE GOLD DUST LOUNGE? ON THAT ISSUE, YOU’RE FIRMLY ON THE NIMBY / PRESERVATIONIST / ANTI-BIDNESS SIDE, RIGHT?

ISN’T IT IRONIC, DON’TCHA THINK?