The jury’s report details five incidents where OTUSA AC45s breached class rules. They involved extra weight being added to the forward and/or main king posts of three team cats. © 2013 International Jury for the 34th America’s Cup / ACEA
On Tuesday, as brilliant young sailors aboard AC45 catamarans were dazzling spectators during the Red Bull America’s Cup, an international sailing jury was concluding its investigation into cheating allegations within the same fleet during the 2012-2013 America’s Cup World Series events.
After measurers discovered that illegal weight had allegedly been added to three Oracle Team USA AC45s (one of which, had been leased to Ben Ainslie Racing), the American team’s CEO Russell Coutts voluntarily withdrew retroactively from last year’s regattas.
Yesterday, two shore crew plus wing trimmer Dirk de Ridder (of The Netherlands) were singled out, and are not allowed to have further involvement in America’s Cup 34. In addition, Kiwi trimmer Matt Mitchell is banned from competing in the first four races, and Aussie trimmer/grinder Kyle Langford was given a warning.
In a team news release, Coutts was quoted as saying, ”The rules infractions involved only a few of our 130 team members, and were done without the knowledge of either our team’s management or the skippers who were driving the boats.” What effect, if any, the added weight had on the boats’ performance may never be known conclusively.
But the most severe part of OTUSA’s punishment is a two-point penalty in the America’s Cup Finals against Emirates Team New Zealand (which begins Saturday, September 7). OTUSA would need 11 points to win the Auld Mug, while the Kiwis would only need 9. This is said to be the harshest penalty in the Cup’s 162-year history.
There was also a $250,000 penalty assessed against the team. The money will be split equally between the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation and to a Bay Area charitable organization of Mayor Lee’s choosing to support at-risk youth.
The full jury decision can be found here on the America’s Cup Official Race Noticeboard.
Courtesy of latitude38.com