sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Letter from America: Dyer Jones - AmCup Director

Letter from America: Dyer Jones - AmCup Director

'Dyer Jones, Regatta Director, with Michel Bonnefous, CEO of the Organisation of the 32nd America’s Cup and Michel Hodara, COO of the Organisation of the 32nd America’s Cup.'    ACM 2007/Carlo Borlenghi    Click Here to view large photo

Roger Vaughan, internationally published writer for print and television, talks to Dyer Jones exclusively for Alinghi.com

At mid-day in the middle of the first week in October, The New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court Station in Newport, Rhode Island, was quiet as a church. The interior of the large, stately stone mansion, built as a summer home for John Nicholas Brown in the 1930s, has a dark, Victorian feel to it. Heavy draperies, oriental rugs, elegant marine paintings in thick gold frames, dimly lit half-models, and glass-faced antique cases of old books complete the grand, period ambience. Seated inside the front entrance, former Commodore Dyer Jones, dressed in khakis and a fleece vest, was reading the newspaper, waiting for a guest.

Jones, probably the most experienced America’s Cup administrator in the U.S., is a tall, agreeable man who makes easy conversation. A lifelong sailor, he shares his first name with the ubiquitous Dyer Dinghy, produced by the boat yard his grandfather, William Dyer, started in 1927. [To date, Dyer Boats has built 23,000 small vessels.] In 1958, his grandfather brought Dyer to Newport to see the 12-meters, the class selected to resume racing for the America’s Cup after a 21-year hiatus. 'I caught the fever then,' Dyer says.

Jones cut his sailing teeth at Newport’s Ida Lewis Yacht Club, and began volunteering for low-end race committee jobs in his spare time. His hands-wet approach moved him quickly along the race committee ladder. He accepted the New York YC’s invitation to become an auxiliary race committee member in 1974. Eight years later, he became Chairman of the New York YC Race Committee. In 1983 he presided over 90 days of trial racing and the first-ever defeat of the United States in a Cup match. 'In all my years of involvement, Australia’s win of the seventh race in 1983 was the most memorable,' he says '….until the last race of 2007 came along!'

In 1984, Jones began an ascent of the NYYC flag officer ladder, becoming commodore in 1991. Along the way he was NYYC representative – and rules advisor – to the Challenger of Record (America II) in Fremantle in 1986-7.

In 1988, the first 'hip pocket' protocol was written by San Diego to prevent further rogue challenges such as the one by Michael Fay in 1987 that produced a protracted legal battle resulting in the Catamaran Cup mismatch. [With the new protocol written, the next, pre-arranged challenger of record delivers the challenge from his hip pocket as the final race of a Cup match ends.] That year, Jones served on the three-man arbitration panel to decide protocol disagreements that might arise. He ran the America’s Cup Challenger Association for New York in 1995, and was eventual head of the challenger association for the 2003 defense in New Zealand. When Alinghi won that match, Jones was asked to be regatta director (as a consultant) for 2007.

'One of the good things about the 2007 protocol,' Jones says, 'is it combined the challenger and defender organizing authorities, including measuring. And I give America’s Cup Management lots of credit. ACM was huge, 240 people. The scope of their responsibility was awesome. They even had to coordinate building the stadium. It was 8 kilometers from the tip of the north breakwater around the top of the harbor where the syndicate bases were, to the tip of the south breakwater. The place comfortably absorbed 50,000 people. And the logistics of moving the Acts around was enormous. All the race management and spectator control boats were also moved, 70 of them all told. We had two containers of gear and spare parts, including engines. The 600-boat marina in Valencia was bigger than anything we had seen – an enormous infrastructure commitment. Did ACM make mistakes? Absolutely. But overall they did a hell of a job.'

Having come so far and accomplished so much by 2007, including a truly memorable Cup match featuring a one-second final race win for Alinghi, how did the Cup end up in court again?

'Alinghi gets great credit for winning on its first try,' Jones says. 'But that’s a pitfall. The Swiss don’t have any history in the event. You have to lose to learn: suffer some hard knocks, try your hardest and fail. The people negotiating the protocol had no experience in the event, even as observers. The new protocol would have been created under a corporate management structure. Some of the executives were not sailors. They’d ‘been sailing,’ but as we know, there’s a difference.

'Part of the legal standoff we’re in has a cultural base. I find it difficult to imagine the Spanish Challenger of Record had a comprehensive dialogue with Alinghi. The Spanish syndicate had never been through it before.

'And part of it began earlier, in 2004, when Mr. Coutts and Mr. Bertarelli had a falling out. Russell wanted to have greater management responsibilities for both the sailing team and event management. He didn’t get it. Maybe that was a misunderstanding. But it generated bad blood.'

Jones agrees it has long been the nature of Cup victors, whose double burden is not only to defend the Cup, but host it, to tilt the playing field to their advantage. 'The New York Yacht Club did that for years,' Jones says. 'San Diego did it – they tried to require that computer programs used by teams be of national origin. How ridiculous was that?' But he says Alinghi's initial tilt was extreme. 'That’s why the challengers needed to get together with Alinghi soon after the new protocol was announced and thrash it out. With their joint work, by November the amended protocol was probably much more acceptable for the challengers.'

Jones feels the protracted law suit is terrible for the Cup. 'I do understand the principles being defended by both sides,' he says, 'but it is doing huge damage to the Cup community, the clubs, and the event. I do know the America’s Cup will survive anything good or bad I’ve ever done, anything good or bad you’ve ever written, or anything these guys do. The Cup is bigger than all that. This competition will survive.'

Jones is convinced the Deed of Gift should be modified to bring it into the present, give it broader appeal for more nations. How? By creating an independent organizational authority. 'As I’ve said, the 2007 ACM did a great job, but no matter how hard they tried, ACM would always be perceived as a sub-division of Alinghi. An independent authority would not be tied to any competitor, but it would have to serve at the pleasure of the trustee [holder of the Cup]. The mission would be negotiated between defender and challenger, then left to the authority to manage.'

Dyer Jones looked at his watch and begged his leave. He had to go help haul the Shields he would be racing in the upcoming national championships on Chesapeake Bay. 'I believe good officials should remain competitive,' he said with a smile. 'You don’t understand this game sitting behind a desk.'




by Roger Vaughan

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=49956

10:39 AM Mon 20 Oct 2008 GMT






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:

09 Aug 2014  America's Cup: Former Artemis crew member says danger is being ignored
27 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle Team USA under stress
23 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle and Team NZ designers reveal AC72 secrets
22 May 2014  America's Cup: Artemis death verdict 'result of an human act'
10 May 2014  A year after the Artemis incident, the sailors tell of the pain
01 May 2014  America's Cup: Oracle and Team NZ tech insights - Free lecture tonight
16 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced
14 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess
12 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report
10 Apr 2014  America's Cup: Two Kiwis escape hometown action in AC45 rules ruckus
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

Soling North American Championship concludes on Lake Erie by Canadian International Soling Association,






































Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam day 5 by American Windsurfing Tour,


















470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander by International 470 Class Association,










ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Scott all set to lift Finn world title
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Men's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Aussies and Austrians claim 470 gold
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 470 awards images by Sail-World.com
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - 470 medal race images by Jesus Renedo
Annapolis-to-Newport Race - 'What to Expect' Seminar to take place
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - No racing on penultimate day
Belcher takes record fifth 470 World Championship
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 8 video highlights
2014 Great Lakes Team Racing Championship about to set off
2014 Etchells North American Championship - Day 1
2014 U.S. Multihull Championship - Day 1
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Repechage top four determined in final flight
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview
470 Men and Women Worlds - Santander medal race line-up confirmed
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sail-World.com
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing stumbles in coastal race
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans ready for 470 medal races
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Action ramps up with end zone in sight
Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander - Double French RS:X gold   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sailing Energy   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Finn leaders emerge from shifty Santander breeze   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - RS:X winner images by Barbara Sanchez   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 470 spots awarded   
52 Super Series 2015 - Outlook looks hot for the 52 Super Series   
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - Another early start on day 4   
ISAF Sailing World - First entry leaves sailor's reputation in tatters   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Four go through to quarter finals   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard   
ISAF Sailing World Champ - Buckingham finishes with career-best result   
America's Cup: Oracle's Larry Ellison to step down as CEO   
Classic Yacht Regatta - Sonny takes top classic prize   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham finishes with career best   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 RS:X spots claimed   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Leaderboards shaping up in Santander + Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott continues to extend lead   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 7 images by Sailing Energy   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Laser and Radial winner images by Jesus Renedo   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Medal Race images by Sail-World.com   


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