According to the latest reports, the International Jury is expected to deliver their ruling in Oracle Team USA’s hearing sometime either Monday or Tuesday. For fans just tuning in, Oracle Team USA-the Defenders of the 34th America’s Cup-have been accused of illegally modifying the kingposts on several of their AC45 class catamarans, which were used to compete in numerous America’s Cup World Series events. The hearing, which concluded last Friday, will consider if Oracle stands guilty of breaking Rule 69.1 of the America's Cup edition of ISAF’s Racing Rules, as well as Article 60 of the America’s Cup Protocol.
Oracle could face some rather unpleasant consequences if found guilty. According to reports, if found guilty, the loss of matches or points in AC34 is the most likely punitive outcome, but the International Jury could also opt to censure, fine, disqualify or suspend/expel individual members of Oracle Team USA (amongst other possible outcomes). The later punishment is likely to create much smaller waves within Oracle (ditto fines or other pecuniary measures), given the team’s deep talent bench and their fully developed two-boat in-house training program, but the loss of points or matches going into AC34 is likely to cut deep, especially if the speed differences between the Defender and Emirates Team New Zealand-the official Challenger-are small, leaving crew work and tactics as the deciding factors.
Stay tuned for the latest reports, as they become known.
Meanwhile, some interesting 'am-cam' footage of Oracle out two-boat testing on the Bay has emerged, showing Oracle’s second boat now using a set of class-legal rudder elevators. It will be interesting to see how much two-boat sailing Oracle will get in this week, ahead of Saturday’s start of AC34.
Also in San Francisco but on a much more positive note, the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup ('RBYAC'; September 1-4) starts today in San Francisco, where ten national teams of sailors aged 19 to 24 will compete aboard fully kitted-out AC45 class catamarans. Originally devised as a professional pathway into America’s Cup racing for interested youngsters, the RBYAC is now poised to offer some engaging multi-team racing.
Meanwhile, in One Design circles, Brazil’s Jorge Zarif took home top honors at the Finn Gold Cup, which just wrapped up in Tallinn, Estonia. Here, sailors had to negotiate seriously light airs, postponements (due to a lack of breeze), cancelled race days and other disappointments, but fortunately the weather cooperated with the RC to give sailors a full-value event.
'It's feel great, fantastic. I couldn't be happier,' reported Zarif. 'I tried to stay outside the action but it was hard sometimes… I am surprised we actually raced. Three or four times we had some puffs because of the clouds, so I thought when the wind came it was just another puff, but it got a little bit stronger and was sailable.' Get the full story, inside this issue.
And on the East Coast, competition is proving to be stiff at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club’s Knickerbocker Cup, where teams of match racers have gathered to determine the fastest guns. According to reports, many sailors experienced mixed fortunes in this highly competitive fleet. Racing concludes today, so stay tuned for the final results, as they become known.
Howth Yacht Club, Co. Dublin, Ireland; Friday 30th August 2013: Tim Healy (left) and the crew of Helly Hansen from Sail Newport (USA) on their way to overall victory on the final day of the BMW J24 World Championships at Howth Yacht Club. - David Branigan-Oceansport
And on the other side of the Pond, Tim Healy and his Newport, Rhode Island-based team have won the highly contested J/24 Worlds, which just wrapped up in Ireland at the Howth Yacht Club, which is near Dublin. Brazil’s always-fast Mauricio Santa Cruz and his teammates took home second-place, while Travis Odenbach’s team from Rochester, New York took home third place. Get the full story, inside, and a big congrats to these two fast and well-prepared American teams for representing on the world stage.
2013-14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race
Also inside, get the scoop on the Melges 20 Europeans and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, as well as the full post-racing report from the recently concluded Farr 40 Worlds and the upcoming Star Worlds.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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3:10 PM Sun 1 Sep 2013GMT
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