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

6:37 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

The first eight days of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race have been filled with more excitement and tighter racing than anyone could have anticipated. Up until Saturday morning, Leg One has left the fleet with few tactical options and therefore has kept everyone tightly packed as one unit of seven boats. ... [more]  

As expected the third day of the 2014 La Torche PWA Grand Slam proved to be a quiet affair with very light winds throughout the day. After a chilly and overcast start, the sun eventually broke through to produce another beautiful afternoon in La Torche. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. The sun’s out. It’s warm – not too hot, but warm enough for just a tee shirt. Ian Walker is stood at the helm of his Emirati boat, generous Atlantic trade winds whistling past his ears. 'We’re going straight through,' he claims, confidently. 'What Doldrums? - they’re going to say. Azzam isn’t even going to slow down.' ... [more]  

At 1700 CET in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, 113 yachts had rounded Stromboli, the active volcano that marks the most northerly point of the course. Race leader on the water, Esimit Europa 2, was less than 20 miles from Favignana and preparing to turn south with 289 miles to go and is expected to finish the race in the early hours of Wednesday 22 October, which would be well outside the course record ... [more]  

It is with great pleasure that the Star Sailors League announces that two more top Brazilian sailors will be joining the fleet of 20 super-champions taking part in the Star Sailors League Finals 2014 being held for the second consecutive year at Nassau Yacht Club in the Bahamas between December 1st and 7th. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day Nine onboard Team Alvimedica. It’s hard to explain the complexity of the weather in this part of the world. No computer model or forecaster can accurately predict the winds because the air here is dry and warm, 23c now, and the typical barometric pressure gradients that generate them become very weak. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day Nine onboard Team SCA. We’re a boat on a mission: catch the fleet. And they’re getting closer by the mile. The first time I sailed past Cape Verde islands was in 2010 when I was helping deliver a catamaran from Gibraltar to Antigua, W.I. ... [more]  

Thailand bids for 2016 IODA ‘Optimist’ World Championships by Jordan Rumsby, Royal Varuna Yacht Club
Pattaya's Royal Varuna Yacht Club has submitted a bid to host the 2016 International Optimist Dinghy Association World Championships, offering the world's most talented junior sailing teams a chance to experience the steady wind, sunshine, smiles, great food, and family-friendly attractions of Thailand's top dinghy sailing destination ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this second gallery of images from the Final Day - Day 4 Prizegiving ... [more]  

Bill Green - builder and sailor passes on by Malcolm McKeag, Scuttlebutt Europe, Lymington, England:
Bill Green, San Francisco-born sailor, Navy jet jockey (not a lot of people know that); US Coastguard; shrimp-boat hand (not a lot of people know that either); One Ton Cup winner and most latterly proprietor of Green Marine slipped quietly away from this life ... [more]  

Tom Burton (AUS) retained World #1 in the Laser after a tremendous fight back at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao where he picked up bronze. The Australia had a tough opening day, finishing down the pack in both races but as the week progressed he worked his way up and sealed bronze on the final day to keep hold of World #1. ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this gallery of images from the Final Day - Day 4 ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - A hard day's night by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Rolex Middle Sea Race - As high pressure moved in from the north, the area around Stromboli had virtually no gradient wind and for those yachts yet to reach Stromboli, a south flowing current has slowed proceedings even further. For the competitive offshore yacht racer, performing well in light wind is more difficult than blasting through a storm at top speed. ... [more]  

34th Student Yachting World Cup - France knew today its best day since the beginning of the competition. They spent the two races at the very first positions, even rivaling with the ultra-dominant English team. They showed today an astounding panache, and can now hope to improve their ranking before the end of the SYWoC. ... [more]  

The Chinese entry Donfeng Race Team, has lost her lead on Day 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race, with boats on the east and western side of the course threatening. Two hours before the most recent sked at 0640hrs UTC, Dongfeng was still being listed by Volvo Ocean Race as the leader. But Team Brunel is now listed as the leader, but on a time taken projection basis, Team Brunel is fifth. ... [more]  

Flying Dreams is a movie directed by the talented Elsa Blayau is an ode to ocean, water sports and femininity. Based on an original idea from Alex Udin, Elsa Blayau transformed the project to a complete story and brought it to reality with this realization. ... [more]  

The 70th running of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is living up to expectation with 98 high-calibre entries received so far, from Sean Langman’s 1932 built Maluka of Kermandie, the oldest and smallest boat at nine metres, to the super maxis. The most talked about boat though, is the Verdier Yacht Design and Vplp 100 footer, Comanche. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 8 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.nz/com
Several of the On Board Reporters aboard, provide their unique views of Leg 1, Day 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race - in text, images and video. Catch a birthday at sea on board Team Brunel, and unravel the fishing net with Team SCA Hear and see how the crews coped with the front that came through in the nigh ... [more]  

Shala Youngerman and her team from Southwestern Yacht Club won the 23rd annual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge Sunday in this two-day fleet race regatta organized and sponsored by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. ... [more]  

After three days of racing in the Valparaíso bay, the Santander team was crowned champion of the Off Valparaíso Race, first stage of the Soto 40 South American Tour that was held in the Yacht Club de Chile with the participation of eight boats. ... [more]  

Day two of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam saw the glorious golden sunshine continue together with the waves, but unfortunately the wind remained absent again. To keep the crowds entertained Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde) and birthday boy - Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde) - attempted a bit of wave tow-in with varying degrees of success, as Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) took control of the jet ski. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng consolidates lead on Day 8 *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
After cutting between the Cape Verde islands, separating from the rest of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, Chinese entry, Dongfeng gained an initial significant lead, which they are in the process of consolidating. One routing option for the then race leader Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, gave the team the option of cutting inside the island group, they are close to the optimum course for Fernando off Brazil ... [more]  

RS:X Youth World Championships - All set for Clearwater action by RS:X Olympic Windsurfing Class Association
Mild, breezy weather, temperate Gulf of Mexico waters and wide bands of sugar white sand - this is the place where 2014 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championship racing is about to start. 'Clearwater Beach is the perfect spot to play host to the young windsurfers gathering here from around the world for international competition', says Frank Chivas. ... [more]  

The first 24 hours of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has seen the fleet progress slowly up the eastern seaboard of Sicily towards the Strait of Messina. By 16.00 on day two, a mere ten per cent of the competition had passed through the Strait and started the leg to Stromboli, where they will turn west towards the Egadi Islands. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - If only it were that easy. Amazingly we did manage to replace the rudder and regain first position amongst the fleet however just hours afterwards, navigator Pascal Bidégorry was faced with an important strategic decision. ... [more]  

Ian Moore, navigator on Cookson 50, Mascalzone Latino, is no stranger to the Rolex Middle Sea Race, this is his fourth and Ian was part of the winning crew on Bryon Ehrhart's TP52, Lucky in 2010. Ian describes the tactical nuances of the first night at sea. ... [more]  

Top videographer and photographer, John Navas, was on the water for the final day of the Farr 40 Worlds being sailed on San Francisco. ... [more]  

The brilliant conditions of last week’s opening race of the season were duplicated today when the Australian 18 Footers League’s Major A. Frizelle Trophy race was sailed in a 20–knot North East wind on Sydney Harbour. Current JJ Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage showed why they are the world’s best team. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - The fleet has finally left the West African Coast. They are now in the trade winds, making the westerly course across the Atlantic Ocean to FernandoThey will find the Cape Verde Islands in the way and that will cause some issues of navigation. ... [more]  

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - It was a light wind, big wave finish at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao as the medallists were decided across the six fleets competing on the waters of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - In life, timing is everything. And, after seven years in the Farr 40 class, the timing was right for New York financier Alex Roepers to achieve a long-held goal of winning the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. ... [more]  

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads received a report from a concerned friend at 10:30 p.m., Friday stating the two men had departed on a planned 20-minute trip, but had been gone for approximately two hours. The reporting source also stated that the men did not have radios or cell phones aboard. ... [more]  

2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 2
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Massive swell on day 1
Volvo Ocean Race: Welcome to Al's Ocean Cafe
Argo Group Gold Cup survives Hurricane Gonzalo
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng regains lead after incident packed Day 7 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Dramatic video of Dongfeng rudder replacement
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica bounces back
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA expecting the expected + Video
Rolex Middle Sea Race - New record for Mediterranean classic
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Medallists decided across six fleets
Volvo Ocean Race - Impressive turnaround for Dongfeng Race Team +Video
Volvo Ocean Race: Race closer than leaderboard suggests - Leg 1, Day 6
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng Race Team break rudder after collision
2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Famous breeze frustrates
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 1
Sunfish World Championship - Victory for Argentina's Francisco Renna
Volvo Ocean Race - Feeling the pressure six days in
Volvo Ocean Race - Alvimedica cautiously cruising down coast of Africa
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel still within striking distance
Volvo Ocean Race - Testing times for Team SCA + Video
Beijing 2008 Olympic legacy lives on in Qingdao + Video   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - A return nearly 20 years in the making   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Game on for remaining fleets   
Farr 40 Worlds: Day 2 Image and Video gallery *Feature   
Day 5 of the Chris Benz Lüderitz Speed Challenge: 4 more records!   
Volvo Ocean Race: Coastal racing at its best - Leg 1, Day 5   
Chris Poole new number one Open Match Racer in U.S.   
Rolex Farr 40 World Champs - Plenty leads as Struntje Light impresses   
2014 Soto 40 South American Tour - Back in action   
Volvo Ocean Race - Mail arrival brings excitement for Team SCA + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race - Jens Dolmer getting restless onboard Team Brunel   
Volvo Ocean Race - Too close for comfort as fleet pushes on + Video   
Foils or not? Explanations from IMOCA Class President Jean Kerhoas   
Ben Ainslie's Olympic Finn sails are up for auction   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica goes to school   
Volvo Ocean Race - Intensity level rises for Dongfeng Race Team   
China Cup Regatta - Olympic medallists and offshore legends to race   
St. Barth Cata Cup - Friendly US rivalry on the Island   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Tight and tactical racing + Video   
Farr 40 Worlds: Day 1 Image and Video gallery   


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