sail-world.com -- America's Cup - Why is anyone surprised at charges of cheating?

America's Cup - Why is anyone surprised at charges of cheating?    

'1983 America’s Cup: Tank test model of the wing keeled Australian 12 Metre yacht ’Australia 2’ designed by Ben Lexcen, at the Dutch tank test facility.'    PPL Media ©    Click Here to view large photo

Why is anyone ‘surprised’ at charges of cheating in the current round of the America's Cup?

In its 162 year history, the America's Cup is packed with deceit, gamesmanship and vast sums of money poured into winning this bottomless ewer at any cost.

1983 America’s Cup, Newport Rhode Island. Alan Bond holds up the America’s Cup after his 12 metre yacht ’Australia II’ beat the Dennis Conner skippered American defender ’Liberty’ 4:3 -  PPL Media?nid=114131 ©  
You have only to read Bob Fisher’s definitive two-volume history ‘An Absorbing Interest’ to learn how this trophy has driven men on both sides of the world with otherwise unimpeachable records to go well beyond the bounds of sportsmanship in their efforts to win or defend this infamous Garrard fashioned ewer.

Bob, who has devoted the past four decades to writing about and researching the Cup says that the reasons why ultra-rich industrialists and traders have been prepared to throw Millions at a 58oz silver cup worth a fraction of each man’s investment, remain as varied as their origins.

In 1893, the Earl of Dunraven was outdone by what he considered to be the deliberate actions of the defenders. A man, whose inherited wealth from landowning provided him with the opportunities to indulge his catholic tastes, was a figure of considerable erudition. Having studied Naval Architecture under Dixon Kemp, the leader on his side of the Atlantic in the late 19th century, Dunraven had the understanding to be certain of his facts when he accused the American crew of Vigilant of altering their boat after measurement, to make it faster. The US crew took on extra water in the bilge to increase waterline length – a lot more than the paltry 5lb of weight Oracle Team USA's boys have been found guilty of adding to their AC45 catamarans! It caused the New York Yacht Club to hold an enquiry... which took the form of a kangaroo trial against Dunraven in order to exonerate its actions.

The aeronautical pioneer and aircraft manufacturer, Sir Thomas Sopwith, and his three challenges in 1899, 1903 and 1920 were undoubtedly of a sporting nature matched by that of his opponent, Harold Vanderbilt, a scion of the railroad building and operating family. Both men engaged the latest technology to challenge and defend this sporting trophy, yet there were undercurrents of less-than-proper behaviour by the defending yacht club in failing to hear a protest by the British skipper.

It was Bond, later disgraced over business corruption, who encouraged the promotion of technology within his syndicate. It proved to be the way to go, even if it was outside the literal terms of the Deed of Gift, and led to the most acrimonious America’s Cup summer in 1983. This victory, which ended the longest sporting run in history in 1983, simply stirred others to seek the same glory

Circa 1878: Lord Dunraven, a charicature of the British America’s Cup challenge with his yacht ’Cambria’ in 1871. A Vanity Fair charicature by Ape, published in the 4 May 1878 issue -  PPL Media?nid=114131 ©  
Subsequent economic improvements world wide have seen mega-changes in the structure of America’s Cup racing, albeit still within the restrictions of the Deed of Gift. It was this legal instrument that Sir Michael Fay used in 1988 in order to end a conspiratorial effort by members of the San Diego Yacht Club to manipulate the America’s Cup for their own benefit. The Court cases raged on long after the match had ended.

In 2003 Swiss multi billionaire, Ernesto Bertarelli, bought his way to success by hiring the sailing and design teams that had contributed to New Zealand’s success to win the Cup for his landlocked yacht club in Geneva. Despite having passion for sailing, his efforts were motivated by a desire to profit commercially. When he took the Cup to Europe, he began with a bidding war for the venue that resulted in one of the nastiest of business negotiations.

After changing much of the structure of the Cup racing for the 30th edition in 2007, Bertarelli then attempted to extend his control further for the 31st edition by promoting an unqualified yacht club to run the challenger trials. Friendly hip pocket challenges were nothing new, but this attempt by Bertarelli to control both challenger and defender trials, led to considerable legal activity in the New York Courts. His defeat in the Court at the hands of one of America’s richest men, Oracle head, Larry Ellison, led to an equally bitter challenge in multihulls, and to the Cup residing in San Francisco for this year’s match with a class of 72ft catamarans – a long way from the schooners that raced in 1851 but just as testing both in terms of technology and sportsmanship.

The America’s Cup, so full of connivance and intrigue, makes Bob Fisher’s Bible such a good read. Only 150 copies remain of these numbered limited edition tomes, signed by the author. Once they have gone, there will be no more. They will be as rare and valued as Lawson’s History of the America’s Cup penned over a Century ago.

To sample some chapters and order your copy, visit www.southatlanticpublishing.com

1895 America’s Cup: British challenger VALKYRIE III
9th challenger for the America’s Cup, during sailing trials on the Clyde. First published in The Lawson History of the America’s Cup book -  PPL Media?nid=114131 ©   Click Here to view large photo

America’s Cup 1893: Vigilant, the successfull American defender. -  PPL Media?nid=114131 ©   Click Here to view large photo

1893 America’s Cup: Lord Dunraven’s British challenger ’Valkyrie II’ suffers a torn spinnaker while racing against the American defender ’Vigilant’ near the finish line, October 13th 1893. From a pen drawing by W. G. Wood, -  PPL Media?nid=114131 ©   Click Here to view large photo



by Barry Pickthall
- 4:33 PM Fri 6 Sep 2013 GMT



Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.
If you want to send this story to a friend, please use link below
http://www.sail-world.com/indexs.cfm?nid=114131

Based on your current download speed Sail-World has delivered large images (660 pixels long side.)  If you would like to see only small images (300 pixels long side) click here .  For medium sized images (500 pixels long side) click here .  If you would prefer to see text only (without pictures) click here

Click for further information on
2013 America's Cup
2011 Bob Fisher: An Absorbing Interest

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
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
03 Apr 2014  34th America's Cup: A Match of three weeks - Part 3 - Under the Pump

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 AUS
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT