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17 Aug 2013
Sail-World New Zealand: August 17, 2013 - Ecstasy and Agony
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie achieved another first, winning the World Womens 470 Championship in La Rochelle, France, adding the title to the Gold Medal won, just under 12 months ago.
It is not New Zealand's first World Championship in the class that being achieved by David Barnes and Hamish Willcox in 1981, 1982 and 1984, and again by Simon Cooke and Peter Nicholas in 2002. Peter Newlands was the crew for a 470 World Championship win in 1988 with Nigel Buckley (GBR).
A great performance too for Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (son of the triple world champion, who also coached this crew). They finished seventh in the regatta, which is a creditable effort for their first year together in the class.
On Friday afternoon, Yachting New Zealand announced three additions to the NZL Sailing Team - a reflection of the breadth and depth that New Zealand currently enjoys in the Olympic classes.
There is no doubt that the changes in the Olympic Event line-up have worked New Zealand's way, and the days are gone of a reliance on strong performances in the RS:X windsurfer which were a cornerstone of New Zealand's Olympic campaigns since 1992.
In San Francisco, the agony which is the 34th America's Cup continues with allegations of cheating being freely bandied about, aided and abetted by a Jury investigation which has now been going for five days or so. It would seem to be a ways from a conclusion, and announcement of a penalty.
Today, two reports were released by the International Jury - the first is from the Chief Measurer, 'clarifying' some facets of his earlier report, which triggered the International, and refers to a re-measurement process taken after a meeting with the team bosses from Oracle Team USA.
However some of the points clarified are contradicted by an earlier report, also released today, written by by Oracle Team USA and submitted on August 4 - some ten days earlier.
By its own admission, Oracle Team USA have broken the rules of the America's Cup World Series, which like its name suggests, is daisy-chained into the current America's Cup Regatta.
Whether they did it in two or three boats is something of a side issue, as is the impact on performance of the changes.
The measurement impasse has created a degree of aggro between the remaining two Challengers and the Defender, which boiled over marginally yesterday at a Media Conference. Any degree of trust between the two camps has completely evaporated..
Louis Vuitton Cup Press conference - Chris Draper - Helmsman Luna Rossa; Dean Barker - Emirates Team New Zealand Skipper; Massimiliano Sirena - Skipper Luna Rossa; Glenn Ashby - Emirates Team New Zealand Trimmer Luna Rossa / Carlo Borlenghi
By any measure the statements made by Oracle Team USA management raise more questions than are resolved. For instance it is widely accepted that the top echelon of the team were genuinely surprised by the claims. However that then begs the question as to how the shore crew can tamper with one of their yachts, in measurement trim, and the team management be unaware of it. Was this a regular practice - or a one-off?
And if that happens in the AC45 campaign, for four regattas, and is only picked up by a independent party by accident - then what is happening in the AC72's?
The way matters stand, the Defender will have been found to be in serious breach of the Protocol, by the International Jury, on two occasions - and the America's Cup Match hasn't even started.
Ironically the 'Weapon of Choice' of the International Jury in their pursuit of Oracle Team USA is the so-called 'Dalton Clause', or Article 60 of the Protocol - bought in to curb comments being made which organisers thought were detrimental to the Event. their target was believed to be Emirates Team NZ's Grant Dalton. Now that legal flame-thrower is pointing in a different direction.
While the Defender has always worn the Black Hat, in the eyes of the Challengers, particularly at this time of the Cup cycle when tensions reach their zenith. But this latest incident goes beyond the pale. Not for what was done, but how the matter has been subsequently handled by the team, which does them no credit at all.
New Zealand crew training - Red Bull Youth America's Cup - Training August 15, 2013 John Navas
Having done a good job over the past few weeks to get a previously cynical San Francisco media to 'root' for the home team, they too have turned feral over the past week.
Maybe that change in heart by the local media comes off the back of having been misled by an Oracle Team USA media release, sent just ahead of the Jury Notice, where the team announced that a measurement discrepancy had been found, and then took the line that all their actions had been swift and voluntary. They weren't - most of them were ordered by the Jury in their Decision. But then we know from previous statements from the team to the International Jury that media releases are 'marketing documents', nothing more.
The local media picked up on that line and held the Defenders to have acted honorably. No mention of the pending Jury investigation. Official documents released later in the week showed more of the gravity of the situation. Things turned ugly when the reality of the matter dawned in San Francisco.
In this edition of Sail-World NZ's newsletter we carry more detail on the story and the documents.
The Louis Vuitton Cup Finals start this weekend. In this edition, we carry the details of the Live and free to air coverage in New Zealand, on ONE.
Key point of interest will be the re-appearance of Emirates Team New Zealand and just what changes they have made to their AC72 since the Louis vuitton Cup Round Robin.
Henry Gibbs (l) and Taylor Burn (r) - GBR 420 Open National Winners, Pwllheli, Wales Rob Burn
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