Re: AC 34 - What If?
I realize ego can blind someone and usually the richer you are, the bigger your ego. But I still can't believe Ellison had prior knowledge of the infraction. That super ego also compels these people to maintain their super reputation.
From what I've read, as the AC45 required repair, the Measurement Committee increased the parameters to allow for the additional weight the repairs added. But they outlined very specific areas where additional weight can be added. Along the line, one Oracle AC45 and one BAR AC45 were found to have weights added outside those specific areas.
It started when the BAR boat was being measured and they found the infraction. Oracle then did their own inspection and found their two boats were also outside the rules and self-reported. The committee later found one of the Oracle boats passed, the other didn't.
The BAR boat is owned by Oracle and on loan to BAR. What would Team Oracle gain through BAR successes? Would Ellison be boasting, "Oh, hey! Ben Ainslie won but it was with my boat!"? I'm not seeing the advantage. That would be kind of petty to me. Would Team Oracle risk their reputation to set up Ben Ainslie for the fall? I kinda doubt it.
Now if whoever loaned the boat to BAR knew about the illegal weights, wouldn't they have removed them before they gave the boat to BAR? For one, they would lose control of access to the boat in the event they wanted to remove the weights. And if in fact the illegal weights improved performance, why would you want to give that to a competitor?
I have no idea how the mind(s) of the perpetrators were working when the weights were added. Logic isn't always logical. But I don't think the knowledge of the infraction went very high up on the ladder, considering the implications... Unless the top brass felt invincible. And that's always a possibility.