sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : America's Cup: Review Committee member - will commonsense prevail?
America's Cup: Review Committee member - will commonsense prevail?


'Oracle Team USA flies the controversial rudder winglets/elevators'    Gilles Martin-Raget: AmericasCup©    Click Here to view large photo

Jim Farmer QC is one of New Zealand's top amateur and offshore sailors, with several boats under the Georgia racing banner. Arguably he is one one New Zealand's top lawyers working in the corporate sector.

He brings all these skills to the Emirates Team New Zealand Board - a body from which he resigned to participate in the Review Committee set up after the fatal incident involving Artemis Racing.

Now that exercise is over, and he is currently no longer on the Emirates Team New Zealand Board, Farmer set out his thoughts on his experiences over the past few weeks on the Georgia Racing website:

It’s probably about time I said something about this year’s America’s Cup, now that it’s almost upon us with the first race due in a week’s time. There has certainly been a lot said lately!

Jim Farmer at the launch of the latest Georgia racing boat launch with his daughter Georgia -  Zoe Hawkins   Click Here to view large photo
There is no doubt that this year’s Cup event is one of the most controversial ever, in a history of controversial events. This was almost inevitable given the immediately preceding history of litigation followed by the Deed of Gift Challenge by Oracle in place of the usual multi-challenge event that has existed during the modern history of the Cup.

Perhaps the right to have a one-on-one challenge against Alinghi with all other competitors excluded was the justified reward for Oracle and the Golden Gate Yacht Club having initiated litigation in the New York Supreme Court – the judicial custodian of the Deed of Gift that bestowed the Cup for 'friendly competition among nations' – and successfully exposing the cynical attempt by Alinghi to stack the new Protocol after the 2007 Event with rules that unduly favoured it.

On the other hand, there are certainly many who say that Oracle’s choice of a multi-hull boat, so soon after winning against Alinghi in a giant multihull with the new technology of a solid wing, was itself designed to give them a technological start over all the other competitors who had been sitting idle with no one to race. That view obtains support from the fact that Oracle chose as its Challenger of Record a team (Mascalzone Latino) who never made it to the Event itself but in the meantime agreed with all the rules for the Event that Oracle proposed. Then too there was the fact that Oracle delayed for many months the announcement as to both the venue and the type of boat, with speculation continuing until the last minute as to whether it would be a light weather or a heavy weather venue and a monohull or a multihull boat.

When announcing the choice of a multihull Oracle’s Chief Executive Officer famously said that this was a boat for the Facebook rather than the Flintstone age, for the young and not for the old and for the age of television. The racing rules reflected that with start times fixed to coincide with NBC’s programming.

Emirates Team New Zealand practice sailing NZL5 in San Francisco. -  Chris Cameron-ETNZ©   Click Here to view large photo
Much of the vision, it is now apparent, has turned to custard. Larry Ellison’s prediction that there would be a dozen or more challengers (up to 15 perhaps) looks absurd with only three challengers making it to the start line and one of them not yet ready to race. The City of San Francisco is very unhappy with the promised financial bonanza being anything but. The tragic death of Andrew Simpson when the first (and so far only) Artemis boat disintegrated as it collapsed has cast a pall over the Event from which even the spectacular speed of these boats is unlikely to clear away.

I had the privilege of serving on the Safety Committee, established after Andrew Simpson’s death to investigate the accident and to make recommendations to improve the safety of the Event, with the Regatta Director, Iain Murray (a hugely respected Australian sailor), the Principal Race Officer, John Craig, distinguished American yachting administrators, Sally Lindsay Honey and Chuck Hawley, and French multihull designer Vincent Lauriot Prevoist. The work of that committee was intense, with 25 interviews over 6 days of designers, sailors, engineers, syndicate heads and others. Ultimately the Committee found itself unable to make recommendations as a committee because issues around legal liability were unable to be satisfactorily resolved by the Event Authority and the Golden Gate Yacht Club. However, Iain Murray, in his capacity as Regatta Director, following that investigation, did make 37 safety recommendations which have since been attached as conditions of the Permit issued by the US Coast Guard to hold the Event on San Francisco Bay.

The much publicised problem that still exists is that a small number of those recommendations require the Class Rule, which governs the parameters of the design of the boat, to be amended. Amendments to the Class Rule require the unanimous consent of all competitors and Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa have withheld their consent because in those instances they believe that the changes are not required for (or even in the interests of) safety but are simply performance enhancing measures that will favour Oracle who had taken a different design route from ETNZ and Luna Rossa, it would seem, to their apparent disadvantage.

Emirates Team NZ - May Training with other AC72’s in the bay for the first time -  Gilles Martin-Raget: AmericasCup©   Click Here to view large photo
This has led to something of an impasse. The International Jury will hear protests from ETNZ and Luna Rossa on 8 July – the day after the opening race between the 2 challengers able to race at the moment (the same protesters, with the second Artemis boat not even completed and in the water). But if the Jury upholds the protest – as it would seem it should – the question then exists whether the Coast Guard will accept that decision or insist on maintaining the original recommendation as a condition of its permit. In which case, no Event! One has to hope that somewhere along this tortuous event common sense will prevail but no one should hold their breath.

As to safety generally, it has to be acknowledged that yacht racing is inherently potentially a dangerous sport at the best of times and there have been from time to time tragedies such as in the Fastnet and Sydney to Hobart off shore races. The new AC72s have however increased that danger exponentially. The emphasis on television coverage accentuates the danger with many of those attracted to the sport via that medium perhaps hoping for a spectacular crash and the attendant risk to life and limb. There are those who regret the fact that Formula One motor racing was cleaned up, following the death of Ayrton Senna, with no deaths since. There is a whole body of law and academic writing in the United States especially on the duties of care that attach to those who are associated with the promotion, conduct and participation in dangerous sports which, while acknowledging the volenti principle nevertheless overlays it with obligations to do everything necessary to minimise risk. Iain Murray can surely be forgiven for erring on the side of caution in his 37 safety recommendations.

Aerials 2 Boats Testing / SFO June Testing Session / ORACLE TEAM USA / San Francisco (USA) / 26-06-2013 -  Guilain Grenier Oracle Team USA©   Click Here to view large photo
The challenge for ETNZ, as Grant Dalton has said publicly, is to maintain its focus on preparing for the racing. There is, as Dalton has said, the precedent of the 1992 Event when, after an early lead in the Louis Vuitton Final series, Team New Zealand lost composure (to use a rugby term) and the series 5-4 to the Italians after getting embroiled in a bow sprit challenge by the latter. A lawyer might be tempted to compare these situations with objections during trials to the admissibility of evidence and to the vigour with which they are presented. 'Your Honour, if this piece of evidence is received by the Court, the trial will miscarry and there will be a grave Injustice'. Well …. maybe …. or maybe not.

So how is this Event likely to unfold and to be perceived? One has to hope most earnestly that there is no further disaster. So far these boats have not yet raced in anger and that has to be the major concern. Two boats, each sailing at over 40 knots and closing from opposing tacks at a mark at an effective combined speed of 80 knots, is not for the faint-hearted. Getting crew down safely or out of the water from a boat that has capsized remains a serious challenge even for sailors who are well equipped, fit and trained to deal with that situation as best they can. Fortunately, sanity prevailed with one of the Regatta Director’s safety recommendations being a prohibition on corporate guests sitting on the back of one of these racing machines. How crazy was that idea in the first place?

Absent collapses or collisions, the racing will undoubtedly be spectacular as these boats are themselves spectacular. However, whether the racing ends up being close is problematic. It will only require one team to have designed and built a boat that is fractionally faster than the others for it to be likely to become a procession. Best of 17 races in those circumstances could easily become 9-0, with many turned off well before the winning boat reaches 9. Of course, I may be well off the mark in this respect but the racing is unlikely to have the excitement and the subtlety and changing fortunes of Valencia with monohulls (whether from the stone age or not) in close combat much of the time.

For his rest of this story, and what Farmer thinks will happen after the 34th America's Cup click here


by Jim Farmer QC

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=111435

1:45 AM Mon 1 Jul 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 America's Cup

Related News Stories:

01 Jul 2013  America's Cup: Dean Barker claims new rudder regulations are unsafe
29 Jun 2013  America's Cup go-ahead but rules row continues over safety concerns
29 Jun 2013  America's Cup: Coast Guard permit triggers Class Rule changes
29 Jun 2013  America's Cup: Challengers on the Bay in 20kts of breeze - Video
29 Jun 2013  America's Cup: Peyron tells of fatal Artemis training capsize
28 Jun 2013  America's Cup: Two Challengers haul Regatta Director in front of Jury
27 Jun 2013  America's Cup: Foils - how they work and Luna Rossa's new toys
27 Jun 2013  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA complete first day of two boat testing
27 Jun 2013  America's Cup: First video of Oracle Team USA AC72's two boat testing
27 Jun 2013  America's Cup: Jury to decide as Oracle sails with rudder elevators
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

America's Cup Defender Oracle Team USA and Challenger, Artemis Racing lined up for a series of try-outs on San Francisco Bay. Videographer John Navas was shoreside with a new high resolution video camera and provided these videos of the training sessions and hook-ups. ... [more]  

The HPYD conference is jointly organised by The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (NZ) and The University of Auckland and will be held at the Marine Event Centre in Auckland to coincide with the Volvo Ocean Race stopover. It attracts some of the world’s most preeminent yacht designers and is recognised as one of the top three conferences in this area internationally. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston - How Alvimedica's chemistry works *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Ryan Houston is a watch captain aboard Team Alvimedica. He sailed in two previous editions of the Volvo Ocean Race – in 2008-09 aboard Delta Lloyd and 2011-12 on the incident plagued Volvo 70, Sanya. With the switch to the one design, ruggedly constructed Volvo 65 for this race many of the issues that bedevilled the competitors and organisers in the previous races appear to have been resolved. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Dave Swete - Alvimedica's race so far *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
The Volvo Ocean Race and its forerunner, the Whitbread Round the World Race, used to be dominated by Kiwi crews. In the current edition, there are just three New Zealanders competing. Two of those are on Team Alvimedica, the US and Turkish flagged entry. ... [more]  

Rainbow II is one of the most iconic yachts in New Zealand sailing history. Built and skippered by Chris Bouzaid, her win in the One Ton Cup in 1969 was New Zealand’s first big international sailing win. Doyle Sails NZ was commissioned to build the new sails for the iconic Rainbow II with design work by Chris’ son Richard ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica hopes to use Coastal Classic tricks *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Sail-World’s NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell spoke with David Swete one of three New Zealand crew in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race Swete was reporting in from Team Alvimedica the US and Turkish flagged entry, currently lying in fourth place on leg 4 of the race from Sanya China to Auckand. ... [more]  

Oracle Team USA AC45 Turbo Feb 25 Training images provided by pressure-drop.us. Flat flood conditions and winds 12-18 and then picking up late in the day. Boat is matching the olars established with the AC 72's. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand gears up on less money *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Emirates Team New Zealand has pushed the start button on their campaign for the 35th America's Cup, with a budget that has been reduced by an estimated 20% from the San Francisco campaign. The decision to relocate the Venue for the Match to the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda has resulted in reduced attractiveness to sponsors, which in turn has led to cuts in the program ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Dongfeng has pulled another mile from Abu Dhabi, and MAPFRE looks like they have been making some good gains on the two leading boats. ... [more]  

AWT Goya Pro Cabo Verde kicks off in style! by American Windsurfing Tour
Last night saw the Opening Party for the Goya Cabo Verde Pro contest here on the beautiful island of Sal. In attendance were some of the biggest names in windsurfing along with local watermen, business men and dignitaries. The true spirit of the American Windsurfing Tour came out in force which was both mirrored and complimented by the spirit of this island ... [more]  

With Cheminées Poujoulat making good progress up the Atlantic, making close to 18kts, 120 miles SW of the Falklands, Cape Horn marks the frontier between the two different worlds inhabited by skippers on the Barcelona World Race. ... [more]  

Emirates Team New Zealand has announced a team restructuring ahead on next week's expected announcement that the Qualifier for the 2017 America's Cup will be held in Auckland. The statement issued by the team early this afternoon, indicates the team has secured substantial funding and sponsorship for its 2017 campaign. ... [more]  

2015 CYC Midwinters Race – Pictures by pressure-drop.us ... [more]  

CYC Midwinters Racing – 'Mid Winter racing is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get' ~Forrest Gump~Skipper of SS Jenny ... [more]  

Laser Standard Men’s World Championships (June 29-July 8), the Laser Masters World Championships (July 10-18), and the Laser Radial Youth World Championships (August 14-20) are being hosted by the CORK. ... [more]  

Kaenon's Steve Rosenberg talks with Team SCA crew members Sally Barkow and Annie Lush before the start of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Both are former Olympic match racers, who have switched to ocean racing. Both are wearing the new prescription Kaenon sunglasses in the 40,000nm race around the world. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Overnight Ian Walker reported getting ahead of Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng only to have Mother Nature take it all back again, getting caught under a rain cloud in light winds ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Mythical, revered, renowned, legendary.....but above all Cape Horn is a time for extra care and caution. While observers and race fans may be poised to share and enjoy the passage of the race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat this Tuesday evening, Swiss co-skipper Bernard Stamm of race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat was clear that there will be little time for celebration ... [more]  

Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70, Phaedo3 crossed the finish line in Antigua at 20:35:30 AST on Tuesday 24th February 2015 in an elapsed time of 1 day, 9 hours, 35 minutes and 30 seconds. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Cheminées Poujoulat, which has lead the two handed round the world race for 39 days, has passed Cape Horn (67°15 11 W) at 01:00 UTC (02:00 Barcelona time, 22:00 Chilean time). ... [more]  

For the seventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 records are predicted to tumble, which has one of the most spectacular line ups of high performance boats racing anywhere in the world. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship - The Notice of Race for the 2015 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship has been released. Set to be held in Middelfart, Denmark from 8-12 July, the 2015 edition of the Women’s Match Race Worlds will welcome the world’s finest female match racers as they fight for the title. ... [more]  

Many exciting changes have been implemented this year for the 35th St.Maarten Heineken Regatta, and one of those will be the Saturday night party, which will take place on Kim Sha Beach in Simpson Bay. This evening promises to be a night filled with undeniable sex appeal and a line up that boasts not one but two powerful female performers. ... [more]  

RS Sailing and BIC Sport North America announce a joint effort to promote a new-age pathway for kids to find their passion for sailing. The goal is to provide a more formalized learning track parallel to what has been done traditionally, and excite youth sailors with modern sailing craft. ... [more]  

On day 2 of the RORC Caribbean 600 by dawn the vast majority of the 64-strong fleet were negotiating the chicane of islands to the northern end of the course, weaving through the stunning islands of Saba, St.Martin and St.Barths. However Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70, Phaedo3, was literally miles ahead of the fleet. ... [more]  

Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup - About to begin by Jeremy Leonard, Los Angeles
Ten of the best collegiate sailing teams from across country will descend on Los Angeles Yacht Club® March 13 through15 to test their sailing prowess as they battle it out for the prestigious Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup Trophy. This perpetual trophy was deeded to Los Angeles Yacht Club by Port of Los Angeles in 2008, to encourage, '…young men and women to enjoy benefits of competitive sailing.' ... [more]  

Airbnb may a popular 'peer-to-peer' lodging site on the web, but if you want to rent a boat in your local area or away, you’ve got options, too. Boatbound.com, Boatsetter.com and Cruzin.com are just a few of the new crop of online websites offering a chance to rent a boat for the day or weekend. ... [more]  

2015 Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta – The Notice of Race, the Olympic Test Event, has been published. The Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2015 is the second of two Rio 2016 Olympic Test Events with the first being held in 2014. Rio will welcome sailors once again from 13-22 August 2015 with racing taking place inside and outside of Guanabara Bay. ... [more]  

2015 CYC Mid Winters images by h20shots ... [more]  

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, listen to the replay below. Nic talks with: Scott Babbage, Iain Murray on 18fter and also the America's Cup, Seve Jarvin and many more ... [more]  

Kiwi sailor Ryan Houston has grown up on this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race as he took on the role as Watch Captain for Team Alvimedica. His career as a sailor is evolving as he gets more involved in the leadership and decision-making onboard Alvimedica. Learn about the ‘Day in the Life’ of a Watch Captain in the Volvo Ocean Race. ... [more]  

Latest predictions for the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race are all indicating a finish time between 1000hrs and 1400hrs on Saturday February 28. For one of only three Kiwi crew members in the Volvo Ocean Race, Abu Dhabi's Daryl Wislang looks like being the first in the queue at the piecart, when the boats reach Auckland. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race – 'We've just gone through the worst night yet of this Volvo.' That’s Charles Caudrelier speaking, the skipper of Dongfeng Race Team. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Spooner fails in attempt to have Oracle AC45 arrested
2015 505 Midwinter Championship - Final race
Barcelona World Race – Renault Captur resume, Spirit of Hungary stuck
2015 ISAF Youth Sailing World – Emerging Nations Programme announced
Barcelona World Race - Spirit of Hungary to make surprise pit-stop
US Sailing Match Racing Committee launches The Dial Up Newsletter
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Michael Chittenden's images from Race 7
Volvo Ocean Race – The Doldrums outside the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 Winner expected in Auckland on Saturday
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Biggest challenges are around the corner
86th SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Day 2 overall
SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Farr 40 and Cal 25 class winners announced
Barcelona World Race - The Bountiful Horn Beckons for Stamm and Le Cam
Geelong boat Phoenix wins Sydney 38 National Title
JJ Giltinan 18 foot Skiff Championship 2015 images by Bruce Kerridge
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 restart from the Doldrums
Melges 24 U.S. Championship is enjoying early success
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Records set as rookie Kiwi crew second in Race 7
Around Antigua Island Race - Unofficial record
Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award winners honored
86th SCYA Midwinter Regatta - Day 1   
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta crew forum - place to find crew or a ride   
J/24 Midwinter Championship - Will Welles’ Cougar hanging on by a claw   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Watch Race 7 here - Live and then in Replay!   
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA goes out past the Golden Gate + Video   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Michael Chittenden's images from Race 6   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Race 6 interviews with Hamlin, Thurlow and Yamaha   
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA report on their new foiler   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Images from Race 6 by Christophe Favreau   
RORC Caribbean 600 - The young ones   
Malibu’s Evolution Pro Series to feature as one-third of WBW Series   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Gotta Love It 7 creates history as US wins Race 6   
Career Day comes on the heels of industry growth   
J/24 Midwinter Championship Day 1   
RORC Caribbean 600 - Phaedo 3 and Paradox fly into Antigua   
RORC Caribbean 600 provides a mixed bag of IRC delights   
Barcelona World Race - Closing fast   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Watch Race 6 here - Live and then in Replay!   
Tessanne Chin to illuminate the stage on Caribbean Jam night   
America's Cup: Parties given until today to file on AC45 arrest claim   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT