The big news in international sailing news concerns Oracle Team USA-the Defenders of the 34th America’s Cup-and their hearing with the International Jury in San Francisco. At issue is some unauthorized weight that was found in the kingposts of several of the AC45s that were maintained by the team, and which were used in numerous America’s Cup World Series events. The Defender currently faces charges of breaking Rule 69 of ISAF’s Racing Rules of Sailing and Article 60 of the Protocol that governs AC34, and, if found guilty, could face serious penalties.
According to the Sail-World New Zealand’s editor, Richard Gladwell, several of Oracle’s top brass have been called as witnesses, including Russell Coutts, Jimmy Spithill, and Grant Simmer, however it’s extremely important to remember that being called in as a witness in no way indicates direct involvement, participation or culpability.
That said, this situation clearly puts the Defender in an uncomfortable position just a little over a week before the first guns of the 34th Americas Cup are due to sound. Oddly, this whole scandal, which is becoming increasingly hot, could likely have been avoided, had the team simply handled the situation differently from the beginning.
Stay tuned to the website for the latest news from this high-profile hearing, as it becomes known.
Howth Yacht Club, Co. Dublin, Ireland; Thursday 29th August 2013: British skipper Ian Southworth (right) on Il Riccio duels with Tim Healy on Helly Hansen of the United States at the front of the 40-strong BMW J24 World Championships fleet off Howth. - David Branigan-Oceansport
Meanwhile, North Americans sailors enjoyed a great Day Four of the J/24 Worlds, which are currently taking place at the Howth Yacht Club, near Dublin, Ireland. Skippers Tim Healy of Newport, Rhode Island and Travis Odenbach of Rochester, New York, along with their crews, dominated the day’s leaderboard, with Healy racking up two bullets while Odenbach-the current regatta leader-took home a single first-place finish that day.
The wind gods have not been as kind to the sailors assembled in Tallinn, Estonia for the Finn Gold Cup. Only four races have been successfully sailed in the regatta, and now sailors are looking at the possibility that the wind will not return before the regatta ends on Saturday.
'Another postponement and no racing unfortunately,' said Andrew Mills, who is currently topping the leaderboard. 'It would be great to get out and do some racing. Four races in four days in not brilliant so hopefully with an early start tomorrow, we can get three on the scoreboard and then it will look a bit more reasonable.'
And Stateside, the Farr 40 Worlds just wrapped up in Newport, Rhode Island, where Kevin McNeil and his crew aboard 'Nightshift' took home top honors by delivering a stellar performance on a foggy day on Narragansett Bay. 'The fog was fun, we love sailing in the fog… it was pretty cool,' reported McNeil. 'It makes things more challenging. Our crew work was spot on; we had real good communication; we went the right way most of the time and got clean starts.' Get the full report, inside.
The fleet sailing downwind off the coast of Newport, with patches of fog rolling in - Rolex / Daniel Forster
Also inside, don’t miss the post-racing report from the Byte CII Worlds, and get the latest media coming out of the upcoming Red Bull Youth America’s Cup (September 1-4) and the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club’s Knickerbocker Cup, which is part of the Grand Slam Match Racing Series. Enjoy!
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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9:51 PM Thu 29 Aug 2013GMT
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