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America's Cup- Dutch take no further action against de Ridder

by Richard Gladwell on 26 Oct 2013
America’s Cup Day 8 San Francisco. Oracle Team USA tacks on Leg 3 chasing Emirates Team New Zealand © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

Official sources have now confirmed that the Dutch national sailing authority has decided not to take any further action against Dirk de Ridder (NED) following an adverse report by the International Jury during the 34th America's Cup.

The Appeals body (the Zeilraad) established by the de Ridder's national authority to hear such matters, is reported as stating in its conclusion: 'further considered that being excluded from further participation in any role in the 34 America’s Cup for a gross breach of a rule and of good sportsmanship, combined with the world wide publicity on TV/radio, Internet and newspapers, is by itself, a severe penalty.

'Having considered all evidence the Zeilraad finds that it is not appropriate to impose an additional penalty.

'Decision: After this investigation the Zeilraad finds that it is not appropriate to conduct a hearing and decides that no further action will be taken in this matter by the Dutch MNA.'

The Zeilraad stated in its Findings that it only had limited knowledge of all the evidence presented AC Jury. It would appear that the full transcripts of the evidence were not passed across from the International Jury to the Dutch national authority, who were then faced with the option of re-conducting the San Francisco Hearing and gathering their own evidence, or not proceeding through a lack of evidence. They appear to have chosen that latter course of action.

The full report of the Zeilraad has now been officially released and can be read by clicking here

The no-Hearing arose from reports by the International Jury to the two National Authorities of three competitors (the other two were New Zealanders covered by Yachting NZ). The reports stemmed from the boat tampering investigation involving AC45's during four of the America's Cup World Series Regattas, and the subsequent actions of sailors involved during the International Jury Hearings.

Dirk de Ridder (wing trimmer on Oracle Team USA) was excluded from the Americas's Cup Regatta. A shore crew member was also suspended fro the whole regatta, and another sailing crew member was suspended from racing for four race days.

The decision of the Zeilraad, being a Decision to take no further action, cannot be generally be reported to the International Sailing Federation. The prescriptions of Rule 69 under the America's Cup Racing Rules of Sailing are different in this regard from the RRS that the rest of the sailing world operates under, where a decision not to take action would still have to be reported to the International Sailing Federation who then has the option of further action or to accept the National Authorities Decision.

However if the International Jury for the AC has reported directly to the ISAF as well as the Dutch and New Zealand national authorities, then the matter can be revisited by the International Sailing Federation and a final decision made in the matter.
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