Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - GR

America's Cup- Coutts takes media to task over Protocol inaccuracies

by Russell Coutts and Sail-World on 22 Jun 2014
Five time winner of the America’s Cup winner and Olympic Gold medalist, Russell Coutts Gilles Martin-Raget/Oracle Racing.com © http://www.oracleteamusamedia.com/
Writing on his www.facebook.com/russellcouttssailor!Facebook_page, Oracle Team USA CEO, Russell Coutts, has picked up several comments made in a recent story published in the New Zealand Sunday Herald over aspects of a story criticizing the 35th America's Cup Protocol.

The original story can be view by clicking here On Saturday the Herald briefly acknowledged online, and in print, Coutts, complaint, and published online the original copy original of the letter

Coutts writes:

Paul Lewis and the New Zealand Herald - Herald on Sunday are at it again… I hope their other 'stories' are more accurate and better researched than their AC reporting! I have even taken the time to write a letter to the Editor, in the hope they would correct the facts. After two days, no luck… a pity.

Editor
New Zealand Herald
PO Box 32
Auckland, New Zealand

June 16th, 2014
Dear Sir,

The 35th America’s Cup

Since the Protocol for the 35th America’s Cup was released two weeks ago, I have watched as the New Zealand media, and the New Zealand Herald in particular, have continued to publish inaccurate interpretations of how the next America’s Cup will be organized.

While no one is obliged to support the America’s Cup it seems to me that at the very least, journalists have an obligation to their readership to provide honest reporting. Regrettably, that has been in very short supply in your newspaper’s coverage of the America’s Cup of late. The latest story by Paul Lewis – ‘Oracle protocol raises red flags’ - is particularly reprehensible.

Paul Lewis wrote: 'Fast forward nearly seven years, and Coutts seems to have changed his mind a lot. In their 2014 protocol, Oracle have said they can have two boats but everyone else can’t.'

* In negotiations for the current Protocol, ORACLE TEAM USA proposed that all teams should have the option of building two sets of hulls on the same terms as currently apply to ORACLE TEAM USA (namely no extra wings or components, very limited sailing time, have to race the first set of hulls, second set of hulls built from same moulds). ORACLE TEAM USA would continue to support that position should the Challengers wish to reconsider their position. Note that ORACLE TEAM USA can’t unilaterally change the Protocol: it can only be changed by majority vote.

35th America’s Cup Protocol, Article 20.1: 'this Protocol may only be amended with the agreement of GGYC, the Challenger of Record and a majority of the Competitor Forum.'

Paul Lewis wrote: 'Oracle can race in the challenger series and the points count towards the Cup (meaning they can theoretically influence which challengers advance to the finals).'

* There is a fundamental difference to what was being disputed in 2007 in that under the current Protocol all Competitors, including the Defender, are incentivised to win and not throw races because the overall results count towards one point in the America’s Cup final match. In 2007, the Defender could have thrown races without any consequence to themselves.

35th America’s Cup Protocol, Article 29.1(b): 'if the winner of the America’s Cup Qualifiers is a Competitor in the Match, it shall start the Match with a score of one (1) point.'

Paul Lewis wrote: 'Oracle have far greater sway over the selection of arbitration panel members and the regatta director - establishing as much (if not more) of the control that Oracle objected to when they were challengers.'

* Again, this is not true. The Regatta Director is appointed by simple majority vote amongst all Competitors.

35th America’s Cup Protocol, Article 6.1: 'Appointment of Regatta Director: An independent Regatta Director whose role is further described in Article 7 shall be appointed by a simple majority vote of the Competitor Forum. The Competitor Forum may remove and replace the Regatta Director provided that seventy-five per cent. (75%) or more of those entitled to vote approve such removal and a simple majority approves the proposed replacement.'

* Lewis's story is also not true in reference to the Arbitration Panel, which shall be constituted as follows:

35th America’s Cup Protocol, Article 11.3: 'Constitution and chairman: The Arbitration Panel shall comprise three (3) persons appointed as follows: (a) the Arbitration Panel chairman shall be appointed jointly by GGYC and the Challenger of Record from the list of Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) arbitrators established by the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS); (b) the Competitor Forum shall appoint the second member of the Arbitration Panel; and (c) the two (2) Arbitrators appointed pursuant to Articles 11.3(a) and 11.3(b) above shall together appoint the third Arbitrator.'

In contrast, under the proposed 2007 Protocol, the Arbitration Panel would have been appointed solely by the Defender and the Challenger of Record and there was no requirement for any of the arbitrators to have to be members of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Article 22.2 of the 2007 Protocol: 'Appointment. Upon signing the Protocol, the Parties hereto have agreed in a separate document on the names of the Arbitration Panel members.'

Further, the 35th America’s Cup Protocol ensures the impartiality of the Regatta Officials by spreading the funding for such officials equally across the teams in accordance with a budget (the Regatta Officials Fund) agreed by all of the teams, one vote per team. In fact, the first US$1-million instalment of the entry fee payable by each team is earmarked for this purpose.

35th America’s Cup Protocol, Article 6.6: 'Regatta Officials Fund: The Regatta Director shall manage the Regatta Officials Fund and shall have the authority to direct payments from the Regatta Officials Fund, in each case within the approved budget and within the commitment policies agreed between the Regatta Director and the Competitor Forum.'

35th America’s Cup Protocol, Article 16.3(a): 'First installment of the Entry Fee: the first installment of the Entry Fee in the sum of US$1,000,000 (one million United States Dollars) by wire transfer direct to the Regatta Officials Fund…'

I would have expected that a paper with the standing of the New Zealand Herald would put more effort into ensuring the accuracy of its stories. I trust you will print these corrections and I look forward to a more balanced and accurate coverage of the America’s Cup in the future.

Yours faithfully,

Russell Coutts
Director
America’s Cup Event Authority LLC

S-W: Two versions of the Protocol have been published The first on June 3, 2014 (US time) and the changes incorporated into Version 2 of the Protocol on June 8, 2014 (US Time). The original story in the Herald appeared in June 15, NZT.
InSunSport - NZSchaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line - Another day, another Olympic selection decision
The Olympic non-selection issues continued to generate heat on both sides of the Tasman, and now further afield. The Olympic non-selection issues continued to generate heat on both sides of the Tasman, and now further afield. In Australia, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has handed down its Decision without providing reasons after a week of deliberation on the non-selection of their top crew in the 49erFX Women's skiff.
Posted today at 12:13 pm
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