Posts Tagged ‘Russell Coutts’

Is Larry Ellison’s Oracle Team STILL Cheating in the America’s Cup? Isn’t Matt Mitchell “Excluded” from “Sailing” Per the Jury?

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

[UPDATE: Joe Eskenazi of SF Weekly has the story. Mitchell being on the boat when it’s not “competing” in a race is kosher, per Russell Coutts and International Jury member Bryan Willis. A mystery solved.]

Boy, we’re deep into Bill Clinton-land, it-depends-on-what-the-meaning-of-the-word-”is”- is-ville now.

Is this Matthew Mitchell, who was officially “excluded from sailing on a Yacht competing in the Match for the 34th Americas Cup until 4 races have been completed,” sailing on a Yacht competing in the Match for the 34th Americas Cup before 4 races have been completed?

It sure looks that way to some people, as Mitchell (or somebody wearing his gear) is shown here aboard after Oracle started losing yesterday

Click to expand

Oh well.

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.

Let’s Learn About the Problems of the America’s Cup from Oracle Racing: “We’ve Got That Stuffy, Yacht-Club Mentality…”

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Now, let’s hear about San Francisco’s upcoming America’s Cup boat race from insider and ARWG (Another Rich White Guy) Russell Coutts:

Russell Coutts – the man who infamously defected from Team New Zealand to Alinghi in 2000 – is calling for the America’s Cup to have a nationality component among the crews. He says sailing would develop further if teams had to pick crew from their own country.”

WAIT A SECOND, YOU MEAN “TEAM KOREA”* ISN’T FROM ONE OF THE KOREAS? WELL, THEN WHY CALL THEM “TEAM KOREA” THEN?

Coutts, who is chief executive of the Larry Ellison-bankrolled Oracle Racing team in the United States, revealed that he lobbied heavily for a nationality clause when the rules for the Auld Mug were rejigged in 2010.

OH, I GET IT, THE “OLD MUG,” THE CUP ITSELF, FROM WAY BACK IN 1851 – WOW, WHAT A HISTORY YOU HAVE, AC! OF COURSE, THERE WAS A TWO-DECADE STRETCH NOT TOO LONG AGO WHERE THERE WAS NO RACING AT ALL. NOT MUCH OF A SPORT ARE YOU, AC? AND HEY, SPEAKING OF HISTORY, HERE’S WHAT “TEAM AFRICA” WAS DOING BACK IN 1851:

“Slave Trade. 1851″

NOW IT’S FUNNY THAT THE AMERICA’S CUP WAS STARTED BY A BUNCH OF RICH WHITE GUYS RACING AGAINST ANOTHER BUNCH OF RICH WHITE GUYS BACK IN 1851, BUT THESE DAYS THE AC IS NOW MADE OF A BUNCH OF RICH WHITE GUYS RACING AGAINST ANOTHER BUNCH OF RICH WHITE GUYS. THAT’S WHAT YOU CALL PROGRESS. AND IN THE FIRST AC CUP RACE, DID THE SLAVE SHIPS GET IN THE WAY AT ALL, YOU KNOW, OF THIS “SPORT?”

As it stands, there are no crew regulations in the world’s oldest active sporting trophy, although the boat must be built in the country it represents – where materials allow.

“WHERE MATERIALS ALLOW” WELL OF COURSE. OR MAYBE THE AC ISN’T REALLY A SPORT AT ALL?

“If I was doing it again, I’d have the nationality rule, absolutely,” Coutts says. “I tried to push it in this time. At least I think I was gunning for 50 per cent. Then I said, ‘No, no, maybe we’ll do 20 per cent.’ After talking to the teams, the teams didn’t really want it. It was going to make it too hard for teams such as China and Korea.

WOW, 20%? SUCH HIGH STANDARDS!

“Don’t forget we’ve got to build the boats. That’s always a fundamental rule in America’s Cup, and if you go back to the history of it, the early days, the sailors on board actually weren’t from the nation. It was the boat that was from the nation.

SO WE DON’T CHEER ON THE “ATHLETES,” WE CHEER FOR THE BOAT ITSELF? ALL RIGHT.

“Personally, I think it’d be a better event if you had a nationality component in the crews. But all of the teams, I think except Team New Zealand, voted against it. I think it’d be better because it’d give fans more to engage with, which I think would be good, and I also think it’d be better for the development of sailing. If we were forced to use Americans, we would be forced to develop those sailors.”

AMERICANS? THOSE FUCKERS? NOW, WHO WOULD FORCE LARRY ELLISON TO USE AMERICANS ON HIS BOAT? NOBODY I KNOW OF.  HEY MAYBE THE AC ISN’T REALLY A SPORT AT ALL?

Coutts agrees the event’s reputation took a major hit with the nasty legal battles between Swiss team Alinghi and Oracle over the 2010 cup. “It’s hurt it a lot. It’s something that I think should’ve and could’ve been avoided. But it happened, we’ve just got to get over it and move on.”

NASTY LEGAL BATTLES? NOW WE’RE TALKING! HEY, MAYBE THE AC, AS IT CURRENTLY EXISTS, ISN’T REALLY A SPORT AT ALL?

He said the new AC72 catamarans racing would be good for the America’s Cup and popular with sailors, fans and broadcasters.

UH, EVERYBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD NOW KNOWS THAT THE AC72 BOATS ARE WAAAAAAAAY TOO BIG, ESPECIALLY FOR WHERE THE RACE WILL TAKE PLACE IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY. EVEN LARRY ELLISON HISSELF REALIZES THIS NOW. MAYBE THE AC72 BOATS WERE A BAD IDEA? MAYBE THAT’S PART OF THE REASON WHY YOU COULDN’T GET 24 TEAMS TO CHALLENGE?

“Absolutely, I think it will and a lot of these changes that we’ve made will help things a lot. It’s probably going to take a period of time before people see the new America’s Cup for what it is. But I can tell you now, by 2013, by the end of the cup, it’s going to see a dramatic transformation.

WHAT? 2013 IS JUST GOING TO BE A BUILDING YEAR FOR YOU GUYS? MAYOR ED LEE JUST PROMISED A HALF MILLION FANS IN SAN FRANCISCO EACH AND EVERY DAY FOR 45 DAYS. WAS HE LYING? WAS HE CONFUSED? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE AC BEING THE THIRD BIGGEST SPORT IN THE WORLD?

“I think that’s one of the keys – we’ve got to develop a wider audience. Some of the problems with sailing is it’s perceived as elitist.

WELL, GEE, MAYBE IT’S ALL THE RICH WHITE DUDES, SUCH AS YOU YOURSELF, RUSSEL COUTTS, AND YOUR BOSS, LARRY ELLISON, AND EVERYBODY ELSE INVOLVED? MAYBE IT ACTUALLY IS ELITIST?

We’ve got that stuffy, yacht-club mentality that’s still there and I, frankly, think this new product, this new style of event, is breaking down those barriers.”

NEW PRODUCT? YOU MEAN THE SPORT? ANYWAY, THANKS FOR ADMITTING THE OBVIOUS. YOU WOULDN’T LAST A DAY WORKING AT SFGOV, MR COUTTS.

Alinghi have confirmed they won’t line up next year to be part of the challenger series to earn the right to meet Oracle for a shot at the trophy.

WELL GEE, THIS AC13 RACE SOUNDS BETTER AND BETTER ALL THE TIME! WHY NOT JUST HAVE LARRY HIMSELF SAIL AROUND THE BAY AND THEN EVERYONE WILL CHEER! HURRAY LARRY! THIS WOULD SAVE SAN FRANCISCO A LOT OF MONEY.

Just three teams have officially signed on to compete in the Louis Vuitton Cup – Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa of Italy, and Swedish team Artemis.

WELL, MAYBE NEXT TIME, NEXT YEAR, YOU’LL DO BETTER. OH WAIT, I MEANT MAYBE IN 2016, MAYBE THEN YOU RICH WHITE GUYS WILL HAVE YOUR ACT TOGETHER.

‘CAUSE YOU SURE ARE STINKING UP 2012-2013…

*THERE’S SOME SORT OF AMERICA’S CUP PRE-GAME EXHIBITION SERIES GOING ON THESE DAYS – THEY JUST HAD ONE RECENTLY DOWN IN FUN DIEGO. BUT NOBODY REALLY CARED, THE “FANS” DIDN’T SHOW UP. ANYWAY, TEAM  KOREA, OR, ACTUALLY, TEAM NON-KOREA WAS DOWN THERE AT THAT TIME. I SAW IT ON YOUTUBE. IT WAS LIKE WATCHING PAINT DRY…