Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Dinghy Wetsuits

America's Cup- Protocol changes rung ahead of Entry window opening

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz on 9 Jun 2014
Golden Gate Yacht Club - Defender of the 35th America’s Cup Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
The Defender of the America's Cup, Oracle Team USA has announced a series of changes to the Protocol for the next event.

The changes are said to be issued, as a result, of constructive feedback on the rules from prospective teams, prompting Hamilton Island Yacht Club, the Challenger of Record, and the Defender, Oracle Team USA to issue agreed amendments to the Protocol for the 35th America’s Cup.

The Protocol changes did not have comment from the Defending Club, Golden Gate Yacht Club, but by the skipper of the Defender, Jimmy Spithill, a competitor in the event.

'It’s been great to have positive and constructive contributions from prospective teams,' said Spithill in the official release which accompanied the changes.

'This process has echoed what we did with the Class Rules for the AC62 yacht, where feedback was taken on board and changes were made.

'Our goal is to make this the best America’s Cup ever and we can only do that when everyone is engaged and pulling in the same direction to make improvements.'

The most significant change is to the Protocol is for the responsibility for the appointment of the Regatta Director and his race officials shared by all Competitors, with one vote per Competitor, in line with how the officials are funded. (A Competitor in the America's Cup context means the Defender or a Challenger team.)

The Competitor Forum can also remove or change officials, however 75% of the Competitors must vote for a removal/change, but the new official only needs to receive a simple majority of the votes cast.

The Competitor Forum will appoint the Regatta Director, the Chief Measurer together with all members of the Measurement Committee, the Umpiring team and ant other Regatta officials required.

The effect of the change is to remove the right of the Defender and Challenger of Record to hire and fire key Race Officials, without reference to the other Competitors in the event. The independence of Regatta officials cannot now be questioned.

The point was also not lost that under the initial version of the Protocol, all the Competitors had to share the costs of the Regatta Officials, but had no say as to who was appointed, or their terms of engagement, or indeed the numbers of officials engaged.

The changes will both bring a level of control to the situation, and ensure that the Regatta Officials are seen to be independently appointed and insulated from team pressure/threat of removal.

Arbitration Panel Selection changes:
The Competitor Forum will have some control of the appointment of control of the Arbitration Panel, which has been established in the Protocol contrary to the International Sailing Federation regulations.

While an Arbitration Panel has been used in previous America's Cup, the ISAF changed its Regulations about two years ago to give itself the right to appoint International Jury and other key official for major events.

This was done to remain consistent with ISAF's objective of providing fairness of competition, without insinuation that officials were selected and, therefore, beholden to organisers, or a team (or both in the case of the unique nature of the America's Cup).

The ISAF also felt it necessary to adopt the right to ensure that only properly trained and qualified official were used in major regattas.

With the appointment of a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport as its Chairman, the Arbitration Panel is set to bypass the ISAF's own adjudication officials used in every other regatta in the sport including Olympics and Volvo Ocean Race.

The first member of the panel will be selected by the Defender and Challenger of Record.

The Competitors Forum will select the second member of the Arbitration Panel and the first two members will select a third.

ISAF has no mention in the selection process, contrary to its own Regulations.

The yet to be appointed Regatta Director is still responsible under the Protocol for trying to come to an accommodation with the ISAF over the part the world body will, or will not play in the next America's Cup regattas.

However Article 12.2 of the Protocol will raise the blood-pressure of the ISAF hierachy: 'The terms of this Protocol shall prevail over the terms of any arrangements with ISAF'.

The first draft of the Protocol for the 34th America's Cup contained 11 references to the world body, including the use of its officials and rules. There are no such references in the 35th Protocol, which has been eight months in gestation.

Part of those discussions will not doubt involve the amount of fees paid to the world body, use of racing rules, and whether the world body will allow the officials it has trained and certified to be used in the America's Cup regatta.

As a federation of Member National Authorities (individual country sailing federations), it is likely that the ISAF will deal initially with the MNA's of the two countries involved in the Protocol. Those expected to be queried initially are US Sailing and Yachting Australia, along with the MNA's of any club whose teams enter the America's Cup, unless there is some accommodation reached with the ISAF.

The situation is not too different from break-out moves that have been made in other sports such as cricket, rugby and rugby league. All were driven by commercial considerations, when event organisers had a differing view of how their professional events should be run than the controlling world body.

Other changes in the Protocol include changes to the complex insurance requirements for competing teams.


Permission requirement altered
The rules requiring the America's Cup teams to have the permission of the AC Commercial Commissioner before competing in non AC35 events has been modified to make it clear that it applies only to America's cup teams.

'There was a similar rule in the last Cup but this time there was some confusion that it might restrict guys from sailing in the Olympics, for example,' Spithill said in the accompanying release. 'That was never the intent and although we don’t think the original rule did that, we’ve worked on the language to make it perfectly clear that this applies to America’s Cup teams – not individual sailors – competing in events in conflict with the Cup.'

Quite how the rule is applied remains to be seen. Certainly it would affect several AC teams competing in the Extreme Sailing Series, and other events. Team New Zealand could have been impacted if they enter the America's Cup, and had elected to enter the Volvo Ocean Race.

However, a workaround is easy - just form a new sailing team and enter to non-AC event under that entity. Or, in the case of New Zealand, just operate under the banner of the already established NZL Sailing Team, which is owned by Yachting New Zealand, with whom Team New Zealand have a good working relationship.

The changes to the Protocol take effect immediately, ahead of the entry period, which is open from June 9 through August 8, 2014.

Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82PredictWind.com 2014Zhik ZKG 660x82

Related Articles

A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar
Caleb Paine on winning a US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award
I talked with Caleb Paine about his recent US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award and about his Olympic plans. On August 16, Caleb Paine broke the longest-running medal ceremony dry spell for American-flagged Olympic sailors since the 1930s when he captured a bronze medal in the Finn class at the Rio 2016 Olympics. I recently caught up with Paine on the phone to talk about his proud US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award and about his future sailing plans.
Posted on 10 Mar
A Q&A with Lloyd Thornburg about his love of fast boats and racing
I recently caught up with Thornburg to learn more about his program, and to gain insight into racing MOD70s offshore. Not too many world-class sailors hail from the high deserts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, but Lloyd Thornburg isn’t your average sailor. The 37-year old investor flies the New York Yacht Club’s burgee from his fleet of raceboats that have included a Gunboat 66, a MOD70, and a Farr 280. I recently caught up with Thornburg to learn more about his program, and to gain insight into racing MOD70s offshore.
Posted on 8 Mar
So what’s it really like?
For ages now, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and 24-hour runs For ages now, well it seems like that anyway, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and incredible 24-hour runs. In their own very unique way they totally represent the technical avant-garde, and thank God for that. Where would we be without their impressive shapes, wonderful rigs, and now of course, foiling magic.
Posted on 6 Mar
JJ Giltinan 18ft - Kiwi Champion the subject of two protests in Sydney
Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings on Friday Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings Friday morning in Sydney. She faces two claims - both from Appliancesonline (David Witt). The first is an attempt to re-open the Hearing held on Wednesday morning after Yamaha was suffered damage in Race 3 as a result of a collision with a give way yacht, and Yamaha received redress of average
Posted on 3 Mar
A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb