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Australian 49er equipment slurs refuted

by Australian Sailing Team & Yachting NZ on 11 Aug 2012
London 2012 - Olympic Games - Day 11 MEDAL RACE 49er Carlo Borlenghi/FIV - copyright
This is a joint statement issued by the Australian Sailing Team and Yachting New Zealand

The Australian 49er team have been the target of accusations regarding their equipment. The response to these comments is below. No further comment will be made by the teams, their coaches, or any other support staff of the Australian Sailing Team or Yachting New Zealand.

Yachting New Zealand would like to clarify that John Morgan is not associated with the NZL Sailing Team, nor has he been involved for more than two years. The statements made by John Morgan are not indicative of the views of Yachting New Zealand or the NZL sailing team.


The equipment used in the 49er class is subject to strict measurement controls from the 49er Class Association. Both Yachting New Zealand and the Australian Sailing Team are confident in the accuracy of the strict equipment inspection processes undergone at the London 2012 Olympic Games and major events in the build-up.

Australia’s 2012 Gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have won all five of the previous events that they have competed at in Weymouth, and are very deserved of their Gold Medal here in 2012. They have used a range of different boats at these events. The Australians also have and use boat hulls produced from all of the approved 49er manufacturers.

Given the strict measurement controls and the range of equipment used by the Australians, there is absolutely no basis for these claims made by John Morgan on August 10th 2012..

The management teams of both the Australian Sailing Team and Yachting New Zealand are extremely disappointed that the celebrations for two such talented sailors who have worked exceptionally hard over many years to attain Olympic gold are being tainted by such unfounded accusations.

Below is the refuted accusation from John Morgan - on Scuttlebutt

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I am one of the technical coaches with the NZ Men's 49er and Women's 470 team, and would like to give the Scuttlebutt readers some facts on Aussie Nathan Outteridge's gold medal winning boat controversy

In the early days of our work with the Ozzies, we got to use their boats when training or racing in OZ. And twice we found illegal bits on the boat.

First was a longer than usual top rudder outrigger which was made by the Bethwaites and signed off by them to use in the world champs, which Nathan won. This provides less rudder drag when heeled.

Second was a raised deck/mast step pushing the main up higher power, which equals speed. This came up after the boys used the same rig in Europe as they had tuned with in OZ, and couldn't make any numbers repeat.

Last was the replacement of the bottom batten on the jib at the Olympics. You may replace the batten but it must be a class legal one but can be cut from other main battens, etc.

Nathan and Goobs are great people and brilliant sailors but got caught up in the Australian 'win at all cost' mentality. The fact that they were the only ones to use an Aussie built boat is interesting. You draw your own conclusions.

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We are sure readers will - and given the first line of Morgan's statement

I am one of the technical coaches with the NZ Men's 49er and Women's 470 team, and would like to give the Scuttlebutt readers some facts on Aussie Nathan Outteridge's gold medal winning boat controversy

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Yachting New Zealand would like to clarify that John Morgan is not associated with the NZL Sailing Team, nor has he been involved for more than two years. The statements made by John Morgan are not indicative of the views of Yachting New Zealand or the NZL sailing team.

We imagine our readers will draw their own conclusions!!

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