Posts Tagged ‘Event Authority’

America’s Cup Update: Team New Zealand Protests “Last-Minute Proposals” Favoring Larry Ellison in the “Name of Safety”

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Looks like things aren’t all rosy in Larry Ellison’s already-failed America’s Cup 2013 yacht match.

Let’s hear the news of the day from straight-talking New Zealand nerd Russell Green:

“I cannot help wondering how the All Blacks [New Zealand national rugby union team] would feel arriving at the World Cup in UK in 2015 to find that there were last minute proposals to change basic rules of the game in the name of player’s safety but which in effect favoured the slower stop/start style of the Northern Hemisphere teams?”

Here’s the whole thing:

“Emirates Team New Zealand’s rules advisor Russell Green blogs about moving goal posts and the negotiations ahead.

Last Wednesday was my first day working in San Francisco and we were called to a meeting late in the afternoon by regatta director, Iain Murray, who presented his recommendations from the work of the Review Committee. Present were the key members of the teams, the event authority and Louis Vuitton.

Iain Murray, who distributed the report and then worked through the document explaining all the relevant points, looked tired. It was clear there had been some long hours worked by Review Committee in the previous six days, an amazing job in such a short time.

The teams, especially Artemis, had various questions but there was little time to digest the information as former Oracle Racing COO Stephen Barclay, who now heads the Event Authority (ACEA), revealed the document had already been made public. It was straight back to the base for Grant Dalton to talk to the team about the content and how we would deal with the upcoming work which, inevitably, be required.

It is daunting to arrive at the venue after years of planning to find the “goalposts moving” so late in the campaign, long after design decisions have been made based on the anticipated windy conditions in San Francisco.

Yet another challenge for the team. I cannot help wondering how the All Blacks [New Zealand national rugby union team] would feel arriving at the World Cup in UK in 2015 to find that there were last minute proposals to change basic rules of the game in the name of player’s safety but which in effect favoured the slower stop/start style of the Northern Hemisphere teams?

The recommendations are general, the task now facing the event and the teams is for these general recommendations to be converted in to specific rules of the event, a process which needs to be dealt with quickly so the US Coast Guard can be satisfied on safety and issue its event permit.

Many will require discussion amongst the teams and ACRM, responsible for the race management. Currently there is a high degree of goodwill and co-operation in the interests of ensuring safety but there will inevitably be differences during the process, as the teams all have different competitive strengths which they wish to protect.

The most contentious issues for ETNZ are the reduction in the wind limits and the prospect of flexible starting times.

The recommended reduction of the upper wind limits is more than we would have liked, but we always knew the 33 knot upper limit was not practical. It has been explained to us that the flexible starting time regime, intended for use in the windier conditions in the LVC, would involve the starting time only being brought forward when ACRM was sure that the wind speed would be over the upper limit at the scheduled start time.

This will clearly need the input and cooperation of the teams and we have made a proposal how this could work.

Modifications will be required to the various rule documents which govern the event. Changes to the Protocol and the Racing Rules require agreement from the majority of the teams, changes to the Class Rule requires the unanimous consent of the teams as does a document called the Newport Agreement which stipulates the format, schedule and start times of racing.

Thursday was a day of digestion and analysis ashore while our AC72 went for a sail and the external rule change process started on Friday with a three-hour meeting involving the four team’s rules advisors and ACRM.

Agreement was reached on which rule document would need to be modified to accommodate each recommendation and the next steps required.

Next there will be a series of meetings early in the coming week. I will join Jeremy Lomas and Chris Salthouse at a meeting on crew safety equipment, structural engineer Gio Belgrano at a meeting on structural issues, and Dean Barker at a skippers’ meeting to consider changes to the racing rules in the start area.

There will also be a need to work with technical director Nick Holroyd and his design team on the negotiations on the draft Class Rule changes which we are expecting from the Chief Measurer, Nick Nicholson.

A busy week coming up, but in the meantime the sailing will go on…”

Mayor Ed Lee Acts to Alter Poorly-Negotiated America’s Cup Deal – Fewer Massive Yachts Berthed at Rincon Point

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Just as dog murder threatens the image of our wasteful Central Subway, the plan to berth massive yachts at the wet end of SoMA does the same for America’s Cup 2013.

So, as he did with the Tom Otterness case, Mayor Lee is taking measures, as this late, late Friday afternoon press release shows:

“MAYOR LEE SUPPORTS SAFEGUARDING OPEN BAY VIEWS ALONG WATERFRONT DURING 34TH AMERICA’S CUP - Port of San Francisco & America’s Cup Event Authority Seek Approval from Bay Conservation & Development Commission for Revised Temporary Berthing Plan During America’s Cup Events

San Francisco, CA— Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that the City, the Port of San Francisco and the America’s Cup Event Authority (Event Authority) reached an agreement on a revised plan for berthing America’s Cup spectator vessels along the waterfront that will safeguard San Francisco Bay views along the Embarcadero promenade. The Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) will need to approve the plan to temporarily accommodate vessels expected for the 34th America’s Cup events.

“We are working together with BCDC and the Event Authority to refine our plans, so that the America’s Cup special events enhance the waterfront in a way that balances the excitement of the races with the picturesque Bay views that are so important to our residents and visitors,” said Mayor Lee. “This temporary berthing proposal is another step in collaborating with our event partners and the residents of San Francisco to reach a consensus.”

The area is known under the San Francisco Waterfront Special Area Plan (SAP) as the Rincon Point Open Water Basin. The Port of San Francisco and the America’s Cup Event Authority are seeking approval from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) to amend the SAP.

In discussing the concerns raised by BCDC and the public over the last several months with the Port, the City and the Event Authority, the space sought for the temporary docks for these private vessels has been reduced from the entire Rincon Point basin to an area that begins at the northern boundary of Rincon Park and stretches northward to Pier 14, leaving the area in front of the park unobstructed by vessels. To free up these open water views, the event partners identified additional berthing locations for these vessels along the Port’s waterfront, including at Pier 9, the water area north of Pier 14 and the water area between Piers 32 and 36 where the America’s Cup racing vessels will also be moored.

“Because our goal for the 34th America’s Cup is creating a great experience for those both on land and on the water, we really appreciate the opportunity we’ve had to hear directly from San Franciscans about what is important to them,” said Tom Huston, Chief Operating Officer of the Event Authority. “We are very pleased that our work with the City, the Port and BCDC has resulted in a proposal that will preserve waterfront views while enabling the City to benefit from the economic impact that comes with these vessels.”

These revised proposals reflect the City and the Event Authority’s commitment to listening to the concerns raised through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) comment process and other public meetings about balancing the event activities with the needs of San Francisco residents and the environment.

If the vessel berthing proposals for the Rincon Point Open Water Basin and the Brannan Street Open Water Basin between Piers 32 and 36 are approved and implemented, the terms of the City’s Host and Venue Agreement for the 34th America’s Cup provide the Event Authority with the right to negotiate for a future long-term lease for the development of recreational marinas at these locations.

Any long-term marina proposal of this kind would require further amendments to the SAP before any lease could become effective, and are not directly contemplated under the current proposal. Any further SAP amendments would require a separate public review and planning process for the City, Port and Event Authority working in concert with BCDC.

BCDC will consider the issuance of a brief descriptive notice for the SAP amendments relating to this temporary berthing plan at its public meeting on November 3, 2011.”

O.K. fine.

Larry Ellison giving the finger to the people of the City and County of San Francisco with one hand whilst steering his boat with the other:

Click to expand