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: Full CAS report finds both ISAF and de Ridder at fault *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The Decision of the Court for Arbitration of Sport over the suspension of Dutch sailor Dirk de Ridder has been circulated. The report, which was earlier reported in summary form as to the decision, confirms a 18month suspension on de Ridder, one of the Netherlands' top sailors ... [more]  

Spectacular fire on Sydney Harbour captured on video *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Sydney sailing sports photographer, Beth Morley was on Sydney Harbour, capturing images of the Friday night racing, when a luxury launch caught fire nearby. I was out photographing the Ransa Sailing yacht race this evening when I saw smoke coming from the back of a large cruise boat around the back of Sow and Pigs (reef) area towards Middle Head. ... [more]  

Clipper Round the World: The award is in recognition of the way he directed his crew during a dramatic man overboard rescue in the harsh northern Pacific Ocean last March. The Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship is an internationally renowned trophy awarded annually for an act of seamanship which significantly contributes to the safety of a yacht, or one or more individuals at sea. ... [more]  

OK Dinghy Worlds: Some sailors will even be in transit over the festive period, so thoughts of overindulgence will be a long way from their minds as they focus on the challenge ahead – overcoming the strong Australian team and preparing for the conditions on Port Phillip Bay. However, if the event is true to form - there will be overindulgence in competitive and fun racing. ... [more]  

The Decision of the Court for Arbitration of Sport over the suspension of Dutch sailor Dirk de Ridder has been circulated. The report, which was earlier reported in summary form as to the decision, confirms a 18month suspension on de Ridder, one of the Netherlands' top sailors ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - With the early weather outlook for next week’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Race indicating it will be a sometimes torrid all-round test over the 628 nautical miles, the highly experienced crew of race record holder Wild Oats XI is feeling comfortable but not over-confident. ... [more]  

Hanohano Outrigger Canoe Club, Huki Outrigger, and Hoven Vision present the 19th Annual Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge to be held in Mission Bay, San Diego, Ca. on January 24th, 2015. ... [more]  

Photographer Andrea Francolini was on the water to provided this gallery of images of Comanche. ... [more]  

Images from Mauritius as the Team Vestas Wind recovery crew prepare to depart for the Cargados Carajos Shoals, over 200nm away. The team have acquired some salvage equipment and will live aboard a chartered boat and attempt to float the boat over the reef and into the lagoon. ... [more]  

The skipper of Mapfre, Iker Martinez will leave the Campos managed Volvo Ocean Race entry for the third Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. The team cites a conflict between Martinez's Olympic commitments in the Nacra 17 and the Volvo Ocean Race, as the reason for the departure which the team says was a planned move. ... [more]  

Team Vestas Wind skipper Chris Nicholson (AUS) has flown back to a remote Indian Ocean reef to help oversee a complicated operation to retrieve his stranded boat after it was grounded there during Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race nearly three weeks ago. ... [more]  

The America's Cup Competitor Forum, comprising the six teams registered for the 2017 America’s Cup, has appointed Iain Murray as Regatta Director. The appointment was tipped a month ago in Sail-World.com. Under the Protocol for the 35th America's Cup, the appointment has to be approved by the majority of the competitors. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: The intention to enter the fleet of twelve Clipper 70s in the 71st edition has just been confirmed by Clipper Race organisers. The RSHYR will form part of the biennial Clipper Race series for a second time. The round-the-world fleet created much interest in 2013 as amateur sailors from over 40 different nationalities competed as part of their 40,000 mile circumnavigation. ... [more]  

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, then hear the replay below. This week's show is the 34th. Sailing news in sixty seconds-ish (2:46). Sail Sydney: Josh McKnight (Moth, 9:43), Tom Spithill (Moth, 12:45), Olivia Price & Eliza Solly (FX, 15:24) Tom Burton (Laser, 23:20) James Wierzbowski (Extreme 40's, 32:08) and much more ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic Race 2014: Isabelle Haudiquet was on the helm as the bright yellow hull blasted through the finish line. Having safely moored Bingo after 17 days at sea, the French crew enjoyed a cold beer dockside at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 3 - On the Atoll *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Final part of a three part, 80 minute, interview with Team Vestas Wind skipper, Chris Nicholson on the wrecking of the Volvo Ocean Race yacht on an idyllic atoll in the South Indian Ocean during the night of November 29. In this part, Nicholson tell what happened once the crew stepped aboard the local coastguard boat just after dawn, and subsequent trips back to the wreck. ... [more]  

The Safety Requirements and Recommendations (SRR) for the 2015 Bell's Bayview Mackinac Race are now published. On Saturday, March 21, Bayview will be hosting Mark Thornton for his presentation and seminar 'Preparing Your Mac Forecast: A Workshop For Sailors.' ... [more]  

2015 International 14 World Championship - Four-time World Champion, Britain’s Archie Massey, expects racing in the titles at Geelong, Australia, will be tight. ... [more]  

The 2014 WWA Wake Park World Series (WPWS) officially ended this past weekend at one of the most fun and progressive cable parks on the globe; Thai Wake Park (TWP) in Bangkok, Thailand. With tons of advanced new features in the lake, top Wakeboarders from all over the world tightened up their boots and hit the water for what would be a groundbreaking finish to a historical WPWS season. ... [more]  

The most significant sailing performances of the year are being heralded by US Sailing with the announcement of the ten men and seven women who have been shortlisted for the 2014 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards. ... [more]  

A successful medal haul for the Australian Sailing Team (AST) at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne with five gold, five silver and three bronze in the Olympic class program, plus two gold and one bronze in the Paralympic fleet. Hear what the sailors had to say about their performance, along with some great video footage of the week's racing on Port Phillip. ... [more]  

Bart’s Bash, the global sailing race that took place in 60 countries around the world, on September 21st, 2014 raised an incredible £366,391.95 for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. The race was held in memory of Andrew 'Bart' Simpson, the Olympic gold medal sailor who died in May 2013. ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic: As with every yacht participating in the race, staff from Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina greeted the French team on arrival with warm congratulations, a cold beer and a welcome basket from the Grenadian Tourism Association on behalf of the people of Grenada. The crew of five looked tired after nearly 17 days at sea, but owner, Frank Lang was full of praise for his crew. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Perpetual Loyal is no stranger to the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Winning line honours in 2011, they have continued to be a contender, especially in heavier breezes. ... [more]  

In a lot of ways, it was kind of befitting that the best conditions of the last day of the Sailing World Cup – Melbourne, were saved for the Women’s Laser Radial Medal Race. Apart from highlighting them in glorious sunshine, like Huey’s own spotlights, it also brought into frame that were only two girls 470 crews in attendance for the regatta. ... [more]  

The website for the 2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand, has been launched. The Finn class is eagerly anticipating a return to Takapuna Boating Club for what will be only the second Finn World Championship to be held in New Zealand. It will have been 35 years since Cam Lewis (USA) beat John Bertrand (USA) in a thrilling final race showdown in 1980, to take the Gold Cup. ... [more]  

Looking for a great Christmas present which you can buy with a few mouse clicks? Bob Fisher's books on the Round the World races, Farr 40's and the definitive America's Cup two volume set are still available, along with other titles from South Atlantic Publishing. ... [more]  

In January Nqoba, from Durban, will embark on his Yachtmaster qualification and will have none other than legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to ever sail solo, non-stop round the world in 1968-69, as his mentor as he takes the first steps to realise his dream of circumnavigating the globe at the helm of a Clipper 70. ... [more]  

IFDS 2014 Worlds: But as you reflect back on the year, we hope you will agree that week of competition in Halifax, Nova Scotia set a new standard for disabled sailing. It was the largest world regatta yet with 18 SKUD-18 teams, 14 Sonar teams and 49 2.4mR competitors and the largest number of countries participating. There were some challenging days finding enough wind to race. ... [more]  

The 2015 McDougall + McConaghy Moth World Championship is set to be even more of a spectacle this year, with the return of the Zhik ‘Mothapolooza’ which promises a potential head-to-head with teams of America’s Cup and Olympic sailors. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 2 - On the Rocks *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ
Part 2 of three part, 80 minute, interview with Team Vestas Wind skipper, Chris Nicholson on the wrecking of the Volvo Ocean Race yacht on an idyllic atoll in the South Indian Ocean during the night of November 29. In this part, Nicholson covers what happened from the time the Volvo65 hit the reef on the SE corner of the Cargados Carajos Shoals. ... [more]  

Last Saturday saw the third annual St. Maarten Regatta Beach Clean-Up organized by the St. Maarten Regatta as part of the Regatta Art Competition. Unfortunately, due to exams, not many children showed up. ... [more]  

US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) has released the selection procedures for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team (Sailing) in the 10 events selected for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. The Games of the XXXI Olympiad will take place from August 5-21, 2016, and the sailing events will be based at Marina de Gloria on Rio de Janeiro’s harbor front. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Oldies return
Volvo Ocean Race sets up independent inquiry into Vestas Wind disaster
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel: sweet victory
RORC Transatlantic Race - Apollo 7 touch down
2014 OK Dinghy Worlds Preview one - Last but not least
Melges 24 Christmas Sprint Series - Christmas comes early for Red Mist
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 8 - Superb podium finish for Realteam
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson on the Team Vestas Wind disaster - 1 *Feature
USA 4 Windsurfing campaign
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - One last modification to Wild Oats XI
Sydney-Hobart: Wacky Races 2 - Frosty, Hoonigan and Wilbo *Feature
RORC Transatlantic Race 2014 - Big adventure comes to an end
ISAF World Sailing Rankings – 15 December 2014
Comanche; Supermaxi Showdown VIDEO
Miami Star Winter Series - Commodores Cup Final day
2014/15 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Jason Michas wins
2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - Yacana crosses finish line
2014 Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Swiss team Alinghi wins
Extreme Sailing Series: Images from Act 8 + Series' Highlights video
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng Race Team - Leg Two review
Extreme Sailing Series: Alinghi crowned 2014 and Sydney champions   
Extreme Sailing Series -Sydney Land Rover recognises talent   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne - Medal Race Images   
Extreme Sailing Series: Alinghi dons ESS Crown, Oman Air wins award   
18ft Skiffs: Rooklyn scores win in Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy   
ISAF Sailing World Cup: Fan cranks up for final Melbourne day + Videos   
Miami Star Winter Series - Commodores Cup Day 1   
Extreme Sailing Series: Delayed coverage - Day 4 +Audio *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng score another excellent result   
Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Fleet rumbles in Miami   
Extreme Sailing Series - The Wave, Muscat see championship bid slip   
2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - From acorns grow oaks   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel (NED) wins Leg 2   
2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team wins   
Extreme Sailing Series: Day 3 image gallery from Sydney Harbour *Feature   
The Extreme Sailing Series™ - Action-packed day on Sydney Harbour   
Early Christmas presents for ISAF Sailing World Cup medallists + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 2 finish - Team Brunel wins from Dongfeng *Feature   
Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Day 1 overall   
2014/2015 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Images by Joy Dunigan   


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