Open letter - Giovanni Maspero, owner of Joe Fly

JOE FLY, ITA - 2008 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship

Open letter from Giovanni Maspero, owner of Joe Fly, following incidents at the recent Farr40 World Championship in Miami, USA.

'The Farr40 Worlds finished just a few days ago. The winners, as everyone knows, were Mascalzone Latino, who win the competition for the third time in a row, a unique achievement reflecting the qualities of a team of yachtsmen.

'Their victory came not at the finish line, on the water, but following a protest that the Mascalzone Latino Team made against us, the Joe Fly Team: a protest by a 3rd party that sees another boat, Joe Fly, allegedly commit an infringement against yet another boat, Barking Mad.

'This is all part of the game I think. The anomaly is that the Jury called upon to decide has manifest conflicts of interest in respect of one of the teams involved.

'Everyone knows that Tom Ehman, chairman of the adjudicatory committee, works for the American BMW Oracle team. Likewise Richard Slater, another member of the 2008 Farr40 Worlds jury. Another judge present, Henry Menin, worked for the OracleTeam in 2000. And John Kostecki, Mascalzone Latino’s tactician in Miami, the person who formally lodged and argued the case against Joe Fly, is also an employee of the BMW Oracle Racing. The close links between Mascalzone Latino and BMW Oracle Racing are common knowledge.

'All this is too serious to pass over in silence. An analogy would be if Adriano Galliani, CEO of A.C. Milan, were also to chair a board of adjudicators in a case involving one of his own players against a player in another team ….

'This is what makes the whole game something of a farce.

'On this episode and our Team’s conduct in the race I can hardly believe what I’ve heard and read in the last few hours. Though I normally prefer a low profile, this time I cannot stay silent. I feel I have to speak out and defend the Team’s sporting conduct, our attitude and the loyalty which has always been our hallmark wherever we sail and in whatever Class.'

Giovanni Maspero
Joe Fly Sailing Team

Read the full story at:

The options Joe Fly is looking at include abandoning the Farr 40 Class. This would be drastic but perhaps inevitable given how the Class itself accepted without the least reservation a verdict which shows it’s possible to win a regatta despite what happens on the water.

Read the full story at:

Sail-World comment:

The ISAF RRS state:

63.4 Interested Party
A member of a protest committee who is an interested party shall not
take any further part in the hearing but may appear as a witness. A
party to the hearing who believes a member of the protest committee
is an interested party shall object as soon as possible.

Normal protest practice is for the parties to be asked if they have an objection to any member of the protest panel/Int Jury at the start of a hearing. It is not known whether this was done, or if the representative of Joe Fly said nothing when afforded this opportunity. It is unusual for such an objection to be ignored.