Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 1

America's Cup- Radio slur results in retraction and settlement

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz on 8 Mar 2014
Team New Zealand was formed by Peter Blake and Alan Sefton to win the 1995 and 2000 America’s Cups . ..

Leading sports radio station, Radio Sport, has made an on-air retraction of comments relating to salaries paid to former members of Team New Zealand.

The retraction comes after the publication of a controversial commentary piece in the New Zealand Herald by sports columnist Chris Rattue in which he questioned whether Dean Barker should continue as the skipper of Team New Zealand for the next America's Cup.

Later that morning, Rattue opened the hour long segment, on leading sports radio station, Radio Sport. It did not take long to get into some of the popular general media angles on Team New Zealand, such as the Government funding, whether Dean Barker and Grant Dalton should continue with the team, whether the Team is a closed shop, how much people get paid, and why those salaries and incomes are not publicly published.

(NZ Trade and Enterprise was a key sponsor of the 2007 and 2013 America's Cup Challenges by Team New Zealand, under a two challenge deal signed by the then Labour Government. Controversially the deal has been rolled over for the 2017, with an initial $5million of funding money to allow the team to make a decision on whether or not to Challenge for the 2017 Cup.)

Rattue's comments in print and on air, triggered the discussion Radio Sport, with some vigorous, but largely uniformed, discussion on the direction Team New Zealand should have in future America's Cups.

Midway through the hour, host Martin Devlin stepped over the sideline with these comments:

'...the other thing is the accountability of the money, which is the big bugbear of mine, and I know why they don't because these guys pay themselves millions of dollars in salary, and that is a fact. I know that Blake and Sefton were getting paid about five million each with the America's Cup and they weren't even on the bloody boat.'

(Sir Peter Blake and Alan Sefton formed Team NZ for the 1995 America's Cup, and won, after Sir Michael Fay's efforts from 1987-1992 with then New Zealand Challenge. They also successfully defended in 2000. Blake sailed on NZL-32 in the 1995 America's Cup.)

Devlin continued with more general references about the value of properties owned, presumably by members of the current team, and comments in a similar vein claiming 'they are all getting rich off this..'

Devlin's comments triggered a legal response from Alan Sefton, culminating in the reading, three times, on air of a statement acknowledging that the comments made by Devlin were completely untrue.

'Devlin's statements were capable of suggesting that Alan Sefton had used his involvement in the America's Cup campaigns to pay himself millions of dollars out of Government and taxpayer funds that had been paid to support the campaigns', the station said, in what is believed to have been a negotiated statement.

'Martin Devlin's statements also alleged that Alan Sefton had endeavoured to keep the amount he had received secret because of concerns about adverse public reaction.

'These claims were completely untrue and should never have been made.

'Alan Sefton did not pay himself any Government or taxpayer funds. He never received anything for his prominent role in the 1995 and 2000 America's Cup campaigns other than a salary and a commission on funds raised. At all times he acted ethically in relation to the funds received by Team New Zealand, whether in the form of sponsorship or otherwise.

'The broadcast claims are deeply regretted. Both Martin Devlin and Radio Sport unreservedly apologise to Alan Sefton for the harm these statements may have caused to his reputation.'

The statement concluded with the comment that a settlement had been reached on confidential terms. It is not known if this was a monetary settlement.

Devlin himself read s statement, similar to that above, twice on Thursday morning but with a rapid fire muted delivery that was near unintelligible.

Friday's retraction was read by another station staff member, at normal delivery pace and diction from which the above transcript was taken.

The matter is now believed to be closed.

Hood SailsHamilton Island LuxuryPacific Sailing School 660x82 1

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line - Emirates Team NZ launches shadow AC50
Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC4 Emirates Team NZ took a late but significant step along the road to the 35th America's Cup, with the launch of their AC45S - as the test boats are called in the Protocol which governs the 2017 event. The bloated Protocol, which now runs to 83 pages of legalese, is restrictive on the size of boat that can be built as a test platform but doesn't restrict the number that can be built.
Posted on 22 Jun
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ launch their AC45S - Video
Emirates Team New Zealand launched their first AC45 S (Surrogate) on Tuesday afternoon at their Auckland base. Emirates Team New Zealand launched their first AC45 S (Surrogate) on Tuesday afternoon at their Auckland base. The team is expected to start their on the water testing program in a few days.
Posted on 22 Jun
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ launch new boat and new sponsor
Emirates Team New Zealand launched their new development boat at their Beaumont Street Emirates Team New Zealand celebrated a long awaited milestone today at their Beaumont Street base in Auckland by launching their first custom designed development boat. The boat is the first true development boat of which Sweden, Britain has two and USA has three. Japan has one passed on from the USA Defender. Team New Zealand also announced a welcome new sponsor.
Posted on 21 Jun
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ goes to the market for shore crew
Emirates Team New Zealand is looking for enthusiastic staff to join their composite building team. Emirates Team New Zealand is looking for enthusiastic staff to join their composite building team. The 30year old America's Cup team are building carbon composite parts for the team's America's Cup sailing yacht, and have positions available for entry-level or experienced boat builders.
Posted on 17 Jun
America's Cup World Series - Ainslie gives Chicago a big tick
Sir Ben Ainslie has come away pleased with the outcome of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago. Sir Ben Ainslie, four times Olympic Gold medalist and skipper/CEO of British America's Cup team Land Rover BAR, has come away pleased with the outcome of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago. After giving the last event in New York a spray in the Daily Telegraph (UK) Ainslie was pleased with both his team's performance, and the Chicago event itself.
Posted on 14 Jun
America's Cup - Super Sunday signs off LV ACWS Chicago in style
Six America’s Cup teams fought fiercely for the double points on offer for each of Sunday’s three races. Perfect winds, cooler temperatures and a record breaking crowd of over 200,000 America’s Cup fans lining Chicago’s Navy Pier, combined to make Super Sunday, the final day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Chicago, an incredible finale for foiling action in the USA.
Posted on 13 Jun
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ extends despite tough time in Chicago
Emirates Team New Zealand managed to maintain their Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series series lead in Chicago Emirates Team New Zealand managed to maintain their Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series series lead in Chicago today after a tough regatta that tested the entire fleet. Going into the event Emirates Team New Zealand held an eight point lead over Oracle Team USA, the Kiwis leave Chicago with a ten point advantage over Land Rover BAR who is now tied with Oracle Team USA.
Posted on 13 Jun
America's Cup - Artemis win Chicago as Team Japan wins two races
Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. After losing the first official day of racing due to light winds and the non-arrival of the onshore breeze, Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series got three races away on Super Sunday. From a racing perspective this was probably the best day of racing yet in the series which counts for points in the Qualifying Series of the America's Cup in 11 months time.
Posted on 12 Jun
America's Cup - ISAF Jury lose first round in Oracle crewmember action
A judge has thrown out a bid by the International Jury and ISAF to have an action against them dismissed A judge in the District Court in San Francisco has thrown out a bid by the International Jury and ISAF (now rebadged as World Sailing) to have an action against them dismissed, as being out of time. The case is one of two bought by former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell. The first has already been dismissed against Oracle Team for wrongful dismissal
Posted on 12 Jun
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ wins only race sailed in Chicago
Late in the afternoon a perfect breeze emerged and built to allow the race committee an opportunity to start a race The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Chicago got off to a confusing start today with conditions for the majority of the day more suitable for relaxing on the waters of Lake Michigan rather than full fledged fighting it out on foiling AC45’s. The official race window came and went without enough wind to warrant a hoisted headsail, so Friday’s ‘substitute race’ result was implemented
Posted on 12 Jun