sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : America's Cup: Oracle found guilty as charged on Italian spy incident
America's Cup: Oracle found guilty as charged on Italian spy incident

'Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand, racing on the Hauraki Gulf, December 2012'    Luna Rossa Challenge 2013    Click Here to view large photo

The International Jury for the 34th America's Cup, has just posted its Decision in Case 19, which was initiated by the Italian Challenger, Luna Rossa, over an incident where a surveillance boat from Oracle Team USA was within half the distance allowed for viewing competitors while training.

The International Jury found that Oracle broke the rules on surveillance because of a novel interpretation of the word 'navigating' and compounded their transgression by continuing to take pictures from closer than the permitted range.

Luna Rossa protested Oracle Team USA in early November, alleging that Oracle Team USA’s Matt Mason had been within a distance of 200 meters and taking pictures of the Italian AC72. Luna Rossa alleged that Mason’s actions violated Article 37.2(g) of the 34th America’s Cup Protocol, which prohibits competitors from navigating within 200 meters of each other.

In its discussion and conclusions, the International Jury determined that the 'pivotal question is whether Oracle Team USA’s vessel was ‘navigating’ within 200m.' The International Jury referred to the Oxford English Dictionary (as stipulated by Protocol Article 1.3) to determine the definition of 'navigating.'

It concluded that 'the word ‘navigate’ as it is used in Protocol Article 37.2(g) is to be interpreted such that a vessel is still being ‘navigated’ while it is stationary if there is someone in command of it with the ability to manoeuvre the vessel.'

Long lens at work again in the Viaduct Harbour as the Emirates Team NZ AC72 prepares to pass through the Viaduct Bridge -  Richard Gladwell_©   Click Here to view large photo
Oracle Team USA submitted that 'to breach Article 37.2(g) OTUSA had to ‘…manage, steer, control or direct the course…’ of the OTUSA Protector to within 200m of the yacht(italics ours)', suggesting that their vessel needed to be moving towards something in order for the driver to be 'navigating a vessel.' The Jury disagreed with that view.

The Jury was satisfied that the taking of photographs during the incident was 'an attempt to gain information about another Competitor' and that there was no prior consent by Luna Rossa.

The International Jury has invited parties to make submissions on the appropriate penalty, if any. It has also instructed Oracle Team USA to hand over to Luna Rossa and the International Jury all photographic material taken while the Oracle Team USA vessel was within 200 meters.

Eight options for a penalty
A decision on the penalty is yet to be determined.

Had the usual Racing Rules of Sailing applied, Oracle Team USA could have been disqualified - the standard penalty for any boat which infringes a Rules (unless another type/range of penalties are prescribed). However a modified set of Racing Rules and Penalty options applies to the America's Cup Regatta.

The Int Jury have eight options set out in section 15.4 (d) of the Protocol, which range from Expulsion from the 34th America's Cup to Censure. Neither of these extremes look to be a likely option. In fact, none of the other six look realistic look practical except for a Fine.

In its deliberations, the International Jury will have to chose a penalty, which recognizes the gravity of the infringement. The usual options are a monetary penalty, loss of points, action against the individuals involved. A second issue is that the Defender will clearly have gained some knowledge from the images - even it was to confirm their own thinking.

In terms of a monetary penalty, the Int Jury will be aware that Oracle Team USA are backed by a billionaire, and on a previous occasion when a $100,000 fine was levied, it was dismissed by another billionaire backer as 'ice-cream'. It is difficult to imagine what level of financial penalty would actually have an impact of such a team.

Loss of points is a possibility, and as a Challenger would have been a option in the Qualifying Rounds, and a deterrent to a team and others. But as Defender Oracle go straight into the America's Cup Match and such a penalty might be considered too detached from the incident. But if it were applied, then certainly it would be a deterrent - and there would be no repeat offence.

A spy boat watches Emirates Team NZ AC72 on her final day of sailing on December 12, 2012 -  Richard Gladwell_©   Click Here to view large photo
Prohibiting Oracle from further surveillance in Auckland is certainly an option - both afloat and ashore. But this in not one of the eight penalties which may be imposed under the Protocol.

It is relatively easy for teams who are being photographed to take a photograph in return. Emirates Team NZ have previously commented on the number of cameras with big lenses which are in apartments adjacent to their bases, and trained into the work areas and sheds. Whether the Italians suffer from the same level of supervision in their Westhaven location is not known.

Because Emirates Team NZ did not protest, they are unlikely to be a direct beneficiary of a protest lodged by another team - except to have additional impact on Oracle Team USA. Possibly relevant, is the fact that Emirates Team NZ claimed that this was not an isolated incident, but again as no protest was lodged, the Int Jury could not act.

Action against the individuals involved is unlikely, as it seems to be reasonably clear they were acting on team orders, and team principals have not dissociated themselves from the illegal surveillance.

Professional Foul
The difficulty the Int Jury will have is that while the images can be returned, the knowledge gained cannot be erased, and Oracle is therefore in the position of benefiting from a professional foul.

Additionally Oracle's capsize of October 16, limited their data gathering opportunities to just eight days from their own boat, so information on other teams could have an additional urgency.

Oracle did not seek the prior interpretation of the word 'navigate' - which is the normal action when there is doubt about the way a rule is interpretative. Instead Oracle took the course of applying their own interpretation and then argued their case in front of the Int Jury, after a complaint by a team and after having gained the information they sought. In other words, instead of asking permission Oracle begged forgiveness. The issue being that their actions cannot be undone.

Compounding their error, which could be dismissed as being inadvertent, is the fact that the Oracle Team USA members continued to film instead of leaving the area they had 'strayed' into.

The fact that the team have profited from their infringement, will probably be the single issue that will weigh most heavily on the minds of the Jury.

What is to be done, will require the Wisdom of Solomon.

The full Decision can be read by clicking here

Sail-World's earlier story can be read by clicking here and click here for comment and links to the original protest by Luna Rossa.


by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=104907

7:37 PM Fri 21 Dec 2012GMT


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:

21 Dec 2012  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA's second wingsail starts journey to USA
20 Dec 2012  America's Cup: Latest news - Oracle Team USA - December 19, 2012
20 Dec 2012  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA reveal state of repairs and re-launch
20 Dec 2012  America's Cup: Oracle believed to be on wrong side of spying Decision
19 Dec 2012  America's Cup: One year on for Luna Rossa
19 Dec 2012  America's Cup: Back to Foiling School in the SL33's + Video
14 Dec 2012  America's Cup: Old photo evokes design assistance claims
14 Dec 2012  America's Cup: End of the sailing road for the first AC72
13 Dec 2012  America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ design chief looks to the second AC72
13 Dec 2012  America's Cup: Artemis Racing sailing on Day 8
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World









































Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall by International Windsurfing Association,












Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature by Richard Gladwell Ssail-World.com/nz,














Volvo Ocean Race: New additions to Spanish team announced
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket Island is ready to host
PWA Awaza World Cup - Cyril Moussilmani and Delphine Cousin on top
Foiling Week - Moth Class Italian Open Championship Day 2
America's Cup: Luna Rossa foiling in AC45s at their Italian base
Star World Championship - Germans claim dramatic win in Malcesine
PWA Awaza World Cup - Down to the wire in Turkmenistan
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre - Off to France!
Nacra 17 Europeans - La Grande Motte back in Olympic classes arena
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Hansen hat trick in Marstrand + Video
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre Race keeps an eye on Arthur
World Match Racing Tour: See the Finals replay at the Stena Match Cup
Newport International Boat Show unveils exciting 'At The Helm' Program
Stena Match Cup Sweden - First blood to Hansen over Canfield + Video
Star World Championship - Americans claim race win in Malcesine
PWA Awaza World Cup - Weather halts action on day 4
Clipper Race - Henri Lloyd wins OneDLL Cup into Den Helder
Clipper Race - Close match racing in closing stages of the OneDLL Cup
Volvo Ocean Race: Spanish play catch-up with under 100 days to go
World Match Racing Tour: Catch the live action at the Stena Match Cup
Finn Junior Worlds - Battle for the Jorge Bruder Silver Cup   
Mobiles drive traffic - 72% increase in Sail-World.com page view *Feature   
British Open Dragon Championship finale at Royal Lymington preview   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket is ready to host   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Valerie Ghibaudo hits back on day 3   
Star World Championship - Hard fought win on day 4 + Video   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Action-packed match racing + Video   
Oceans of Hope yacht arrives in Portsmouth   
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Registration details   
RORC Transatlantic Race - Polishing up the silver   
Vic-Maui International Yacht Race - First start to lead off busy day   
Anna Tunnicliffe competing at the CrossFit Mid-Atlantics + Video   
18ft Skiff Europeans: Winning days at Lake Garda   
Clipper Race - Choppy conditions as fleet closes in on Den Helder   
Lightning Youth World Championship - Final day   
2014 Star Class World Championship - Day 3   
America's Cup: Dean Barker interviewed on the current state of the Cup   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Delphine Cousin draws first blood   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - On a roll in Marstrand + Video   
Star World Championship - Frustrating day 3 rocks the fleet   


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