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RS Sailing 2018 - Leaderboard

Double Olympic medalist's 2020 campaign hangs in limbo after Jury finding

by Richard Gladwell 9 Aug 15:10 PDT 10 August 2018
Iker Martinez on the helm of his Nacra 17 at the Sailing World Cup Marseille earlier in 2018. The elongated pin is claimed to allow the daggerboard to be racked to a position where it offers less drag © Sailing Energy / World Sailing

An International Jury has made an adverse finding against double Olympic medalist Iker Martinez (ESP) after a dagger board bearing on his Nacra 17 foiling catamaran was found to be elongated by an additional 4.5mm.

Martinez won a Gold Medal in the 49er class at the 2004 Olympic Regatta and the Silver medal in 2008 in the same class. After co-skippering MAPFRE in the 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race, he switched to the Nacra 17 foiling catamaran for the 2016 Olympic regatta, but was passed over for selection by the Spanish Olympic selectors.

The evidence given claimed that this alteration would have given the Nacra 17 ESP70 an advantage in light weather, by being able to alter the angle of attack of the foils to a position where the drag would be reduced compared to the standard, factory supplied position.

As part of the evidence it was stated 60 other Nacra 17's at the regatta were also measured and the maximum variance was found to be.5mm or in the range of 74.5mm to 75mm. On ESP70 the maximum distance that the daggerboard bearing could move was measured at 79.5mm.

In its Decision the International Jury said it was "comfortably satisfied, bearing in mind the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, that Mr. Iker Martinez did not tell the truth to the International Jury during this hearing. Thereby, Mr. Iker Martinez committed a breach of good sportsmanship and unethical behaviour contrary to RRS 69.1(a).

The options open to the International Jury are limited by the fact that "Iker Martinez's entry was rejected by the organizing authority before he sailed any races in the event."

However it advised that it would be taking the option of reporting the matter to World Sailing where a more substantial penalty other than just exclusion from the Event can be applied. It is quite possible that a suspension from the sport for two years could be imposed, in which case Martinez would be excluded from competing in the 2020 Olympic Regatta.

Any future world wide ban imposed applies only to a sailor actually competing in organised yacht racing events under the auspices of World Sailing. It does not preclude the sailor from taking on a coaching or consulting role within the sport. Any penalty imposed is also subject to review by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which in another sailing case from the 2013 America's Cup reduced a suspension from five years (imposed by the then ISAF Disciplinary Commission) to 18 months.

The International Jury Decision is below. The investigation was conducted under World Sailing regulations by two World Sailing employees - Alistair Fox, World Sailing's Director of Events, and Jon Napier, World Sailing's Director of Legal Affairs and Governance. Both after also certified as Int Technical Delegates by World Sailing. Napier is also certified as an Int. Judge and Int. Umpire by the world body.

Alistair Fox is named as the EDIO (Event Disciplinary Investigating Officer) for this case. Conflict of Interest issues could be raised if this matter was referred to the World body for further action.

Iker Martinez has filed for a re-opening of the Hearing on the issue of whether the Decision can be reported to the national or World body, Fox and Napier's employers, based on a World Sailing Racing Rules of Sailing Case 139 - which answers several hypothetical questions in relation to the ability to report a Rule 69 decision to the world body.


Case 061

1. On August 8, 2018, the International Jury heard case 061 submitted by the EDIO of the Aarhus 2018 World Championships against Mr. Iker Martinez for misconduct.

Procedural Comments

2. The EDIO was Alastair Fox, appointed by World Sailing, who was advised by Jon Napier.

3. At the hearing, Mr. Iker Martinez was accompanied by Antonio Otero (representative) and Asier Fernandez (advisor).

4. At the beginning of the hearing and after it had been adjourned, Mr. Iker Martinez asserted on procedure that the International Jury:

I. Does not have jurisdiction over Mr. Iker Martinez because he was not entered in the event.
II. Has not given Mr. Iker Martinez opportunity to find a professional legal interpreter.
III. Has not given Mr. Iker Martinez enough time to prepare.

5. Concerning I: The International Jury was appointed for the event by World Sailing. The event is governed by the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS). Mr. Iker Martinez tried to enter the event and initiated the process of entering the World Championships as a competitor and completed all required steps up to passing the equipment inspection. Thus he clearly intended to participate in the event and thereby agreed to accept the RRS, cf. RRS 3.1(a). The reason why he did not race was that his entry was rejected by the organizing authority, when his boat did not pass the equipment inspection on Sunday, August 5 before 14:30. Therefore, the International Jury has jurisdiction over this matter.

6. Concerning II: At the beginning of the hearing, Mr. Iker Martinez requested an interpreter. Although it is not the responsibility of the International Jury to provide interpretation, and Mr. Iker Martinez had the opportunity to contact a local interpreter, the International Jury offered another jury member as interpreter. Mr. Iker Martinez did not object until after the hearing was reconvened, and continued to use the interpreter thereafter.

7. Concerning III: Reasons for not giving additional time to prepare:

  1. The alleged misconduct occurred before the first race of the World Championship.
  2. The first Notice of Charge dated August 5 was sent at 22:58.
  3. During the hearing on August 6 starting at 12:00 Mr. Iker Martinez requested additional time to prepare and he was granted 48 hours.
  4. Mr. Iker Martinez received the second Notice of Charge on 7 August at 16:08.
  5. The hearing was reconvened on 8 August at 12:00.
  6. At the request of Mr. Iker Martinez, the jury provided a Spanish-speaking jury member as interpreter. He made no objection to the interpreter.
  7. The items in the second Notice of Charge for which Mr. Iker Martinez requested more time to prepare are related to items already presented in the first Notice of Charge.

8. Mr. Iker Martinez had 61 hours from the time that the first charge was given until
the hearing on August 8.

9. Mr. Iker Martinez argued that resolving this matter is not urgent.

10. World Sailing Misconduct Guidance advises that, "it is unfair and inappropriate to leave serious allegations of misconduct unheard for several days."

The International Jury Concludes on this:
1. The items in the second Notice of Charge are related to items already presented in the first Notice of Charge and therefore would not require more time.
2. The 61 hours given to Mr. Iker Martinez is reasonable time to prepare for both charges for a hearing under RRS 69 during an event.

Facts

8. Mr. Iker Martinez is the owner and person in charge of ESP 70.

9. ESP 70 was bought by Mr. Iker Martinez new from Nacra Sailing at the beginning of 2018. It had not been used by any other crew and was only raced with him onboard.

10. Between 2 August and 5 August 2018 (inclusive), ESP 70 was inspected by the Technical Committee and the maximum distance that the daggerboard bearing could move (between the back of the bearing and the front of the worm drive) was measured.

11. The building specifications for this measure is 75mm. The Technical Committee measured 74.5mm to 75mm on all other inspected Nacras (in excess of 60) that are competing in the World Championship.

12. On ESP 70, this distance was measured to be 79.5mm on both hulls. In addition, the round holes for the fitting in the stainless steel tracks had been elongated. This could not have been caused by damage or normal wear.

13. Using a builder-provided daggerboard bearing track, it was not possible to fit all six bolts into the holes in the hull. The back holes were further back compared to building specifications.

14. During manufacturing, all holes in the hull recess for the daggerboard bearing are drilled using a unique jig. Only one jig set (one tool for producing port hulls and one for starboard hulls) exists at the hull manufacturer in Thailand. The position of the holes on ESP 70 could not have been the result of using that jig to drill, or have been caused by damage or normal wear.

15. On August 6, 2018 ESP 70 was inspected further by the Technical Committee. This showed that in the aft side of the port side hull recess, the original holes that were in the position defined by the building specification had been filled, and new holes had been drilled further aft. Sikaflex had been applied over the holes concealing the modification.

16. The Nacra 17 is a one design class with closed class rules. This means that changes can only be made if they are specifically permitted by the class rules. Furthermore, repairs cannot be made without approval of the IN17CA Technical Committee or at an event by the event Technical Committee. ESP 70 had received no such approval.

17. On August 4 2018, Mr Iker Martinez was interviewed by the Event Disciplinary Investigating Officer (EDIO) in relation to an investigation about the modifications on ESP 70. At the start of the interview, the EDIO explained to Mr. Iker Martinez that he must tell the truth and he may be subject to disciplinary action if he stated anything false or he did not believe to be true.

18. During the interview Mr. Iker Martinez denied several times that he altered ESP 70. He was asked "Did you alter the boat, as the Jury found in the protest decision?" The answer was "No. I said that to the Jury". Mr. Iker Martinez signed the interview record as a true and accurate record of what was said.

Conclusion

19. The international jury is comfortably satisfied, bearing in mind the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, that Mr. Iker Martinez deliberately modified ESP 70 in breach of the class rules and he concealed the modification. Thereby, Mr. Iker Martinez committed a breach of good sportsmanship contrary to RRS 69.1(a).

20. The international jury is comfortably satisfied, bearing in mind the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, that Mr. Iker Martinez did not tell the truth to the EDIO. Thereby, Mr. Iker Martinez committed a breach of good sportsmanship and unethical behaviour contrary to RRS 69.1(a).

21. The international jury is comfortably satisfied, bearing in mind the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, that Mr. Iker Martinez did not tell the truth to the International Jury during this hearing. Thereby, Mr. Iker Martinez committed a breach of good sportsmanship and unethical behaviour contrary to RRS 69.1(a).

Decision

22. Considering the level of the misconduct, a significant penalty is appropriate. However, given the severely limited range of penalties available to the jury in this case, the International Jury has decided the following:

23. The International Jury excludes Mr. Iker Martinez from the venue of the event from Thursday, August 9 at noon, and directs the organizing authority to revoke his accreditation from that point in time. Since Mr. Iker Martinez's entry was rejected by the organizing authority before he sailed any races in the event, the International Jury cannot impose scoring penalties.

24. This decision will be reported to World Sailing under RRS 69.2(j)(2) and WS Regulation 35.4.7.

August 9, 2018, 00:20

International Jury

Lynne Beal (chair) IJ (CAN), Manuel Ken Gamito IJ (POR), Yoann Peronneau IJ (FRA), Jan Stage IJ (DEN) and Leo Pieter Stoel IJ (NED)

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