Americas Cup, rule 69 question

25/01/2010 12:26:07
The Americas Cup was mentioned in another thread recently (the one on the recent British Star success) and, to avoid hijacking that thread, I wonder if someone could shed some light on the situation...

The 33rd Americas Cup appears to have descended into something of a farce and the legal battles that have resulted have disenchanted the rest of the sailing world from their ultimate event.

I don't fully understand what is going on with the Cup, apart from the fact that it will be sailed in multihulls owned by two extremely rich, proud and argumentative characters. They are arguing many aspects of the rules in order to gain / maintain or influence any possible advantage they can. And it seems to have gone on well beyond usual levels of normality or decency. The disappointment caused seems to be down to maintenance of pride and spending a lot of money rather than common sense or the spirit of sailing.

My question is that rule 69a states:
When a protest committee, from its own observation or a report received from any source, believes that a competitor may have committed a gross breach of a rule, good manners or sportsmanship, or may have brought the sport into disrepute, it may call a hearing...

Surely they have gone well beyond good manners AND sportsmanship, as well as bringing the sport into disrepute (OED defined as 'the state of being held in low public esteem'). So, would this not be the perfect opportunity for the powers that be (or anyone else for that matter) to say enough is enough to one or both sides? And am I right in thinking that rule 69 is the one that can ban you for life?

I'll be interested in any responses! Cheers, Tim

25/01/2010 14:09:36
I would encourage the committee to throw both challengers out, BMW Oracle because the Yanks now know the only way they can win this is in the courtroom, and Alinghi because they're hell bent on ensuring the rules are written to give no-one else a chance.
The only up-side is that it allows the talented British Sailors in our AC team to challenge and win more World/Olympic medals.

25/01/2010 15:44:42
I am not sure how Rule 69 can be applied if ISAF are being wholly ignored for the entire competition! The New York Supreme Court seems to be the only independant body that both sides pay any attention to.

We need a petition - more and more people are saying the Cup should return to the Isle of Wight and start again.

25/01/2010 17:26:50
What about RRS 3 in Part 1, Fundamental Rules? This seems to have been tightened up in the 2009-2012 Rules and now reads as follows:-


By participating in a race conducted under these racing rules, each competitor and boat owner agrees
(a) to be governed by the rules;
(b) to accept the penalties imposed and other action taken under the rules, subject to the appeal and review procedures provided in them, as the final determination of any matter arising under
the rules; and
(c) with respect to any such determination, not to resort to any court of law or tribunal.

25/01/2010 17:40:22
Andrew M
Trouble is, that governs what happens on the water.  The lead up to the actual sailing has always been the problem area and lies in the Deed of Gift relating to the competition and the way that people with a lot of money can try to find highly paid lawyers to argue about the meaning of what it says.  If the America's Cup was about just having a good fair race between competing boats from various countries there would be no money in it for the lawyers and we could all just enjoy the sailing.  The last competition was fantastic spectacle, this one is looking like a very damp squib.

27/01/2010 14:39:40
Thanks, Andrew ... the story's on Wikipedia, see


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