Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal, West Coast
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Paul, first let me say that I like racing and fairness and that it seems that in this forum not many people like it (racing) if you judge for the numbers of visits of the America's cup threads. I like racing and I like to participate and talk about it (I have been in Valencia the last America´s Cup and I will try to be there this year). So please don't see my comments as any form of confrontation. I know that you like racing also and that makes us having something in common, besides sailing.
Saying that, I don´t think you are right about Ras al Kaminah. Fact is that the races initially were to be in Valencia:
"When Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) successfully defended the trophy in the 32nd America's Cup they immediately accepted a challenge from Club Náutico Español de Vela (CNEV) a Spanish organization formed expressly for the purpose of challenging for the cup and keeping the regatta in Valencia."
is that the defender decided to pick a monohull different from the AC class that had been racing for the cup, and prepared a boat to that rule. Then he created a sham Spanish YC that agreed to his rules. These included his total control on such things as ... like moving the venue to Ras al Kaminah and setting a timetable that precluded competitors from having sufficient time to build boats capable of beating the one he'd already started.....
Ras al Kaminah was only proposed by SNG at a later phase, when all the other teams were out, the multihulls were on and were ragging a Court Battle about everything and nothing.
We talk about SNG and GGNC, as if this was a battle between Clubs but we know this is not true, this ended up to be an ugly battle between two megalomaniac billionaires. That´s why I have said that Oracle/BMW have turned out to be the defenders (on court) by a technicality (they were not even at the finals of the last CUP). And I was not the only one, as you can see, in the own city of the GGNC, there are very credible sources that say the same:
“Taking advantage of loopholes in the documents governing the defense and challenge for the Cup, BMW/ORACLE was able to secure a one-against-one match race against Alinghi, rather than the usual multi-team challenger series of fleet races and match races previously used to determine which team would eventually win the right to challenge the Cup defender.”
Confused? You're in very good company. The legal challenges, and the legal bills, may surpass the complexity and cost of the boats themselves.
The last time such an odd America's Cup loop-hole challenge was made was in 1988, when New Zealander Sir Michael Fay challenged Dennis Conner and the San Diego Yacht Club, who then held the Cup, with a mono-hulled "monster boat". Conner, responding with a few deft legal loophole jumps of his own, defeated Sir Michael with a giant purpose-built catamaran, winning back the Cup.”
Regarding the choice of boat, as you know, many different monohulls were chosen for the different CUPs. The one proposed was better faster and more modern than the last one and would have permitted more spectacular races. If there was some disagreement between the teams regarding the Protocol (and the Protocol was later altered to accommodate some of the challengers’ demands) that has nothing to do with the choice of the boat, that was almost consensual. The boat details were also displayed in good time and “ SNG continued to work with the other teams on the protocol, and by December 2007 twelve challengers had met the entry deadline and were preparing to race in a multi-challenge 33rd America’s Cup”.
These twelve challengers had already put some of the best world boat designers at work and some were already building the boats (I had saw the basic layout of that boat and it was a beautiful boat – bigger, beamier and a lot faster, specially downwind).
So, it seems that it displeases you, as much as me that the CUP has turned out not to be about a sailing race but a personal dispute between two very rich Megalomaniacs, that the most important match race should not be raced in gigantic monohulls and that is wrong that all other teams (including the last final contender) have been excluded. So, it seems that we agree on the essential.
For the ones that want to know more about the America´s cup, Wikipedia has two good articles, one generic, another on this year’s Cup.
And if you look well at its story you will see that fairness, was not always on the table. After all it looks that not all sailors are Gentlemen .
Last edited by PCP; 01-31-2010 at 06:20 PM.
Reason: Bad English