Oracle Team USA forfeits both ACWS season titles - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-09-2013 Thread Starter
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Oracle Team USA forfeits both ACWS season titles

Oracle was discovered to have improperly placed lead weights in the bow struts of all three of its 45-foot catamarans in the ACWS, including one that was loaned to BAR J.P. Morgan and skippered by British Olympic hero Ben Ainslie.

The rules governing placement of weights are meticulous because they can affect boat handling and performance. Oracle officials insisted they had no knowledge of the violations until they were discovered while the boats were being prepared for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in September.

Coupled with a spying infraction against Oracle last year, however, the violations are a black eye for the American team owned by Larry Ellison. The disclosures represent still another setback for an America’s Cup that has been dogged by a scarcity of challengers, a wreck that cost the life of a sailor and a dismal competition that so far hasn’t had a single close race.

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post #2 of 16 Old 08-09-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Oracle Team USA forfeits both ACWS season titles

Also see:

10. Upon receipt of the Report from OTUSA, and the MC reporting that ‘The modifications appear to be intentional efforts to circumvent the limitations of the AC45 class rule, and are therefore serious in nature’, the Jury has commenced an investigation under Racing Rules of Sailing (America’s Cup Edition) Rule 69, and Protocol Article 60. This investigation is ongoing.

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post #3 of 16 Old 08-09-2013
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Re: Oracle Team USA forfeits both ACWS season titles

Ellison is a cheat?

"I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here....... Here are your winning, sir." Casablanca

I hope they ban him from the competition for life. He's an embarrassment.
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-09-2013
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Re: Oracle Team USA forfeits both ACWS season titles

Cheating going on in sport....by Americans...I can't believe it! Larry, into the dust bin of disgrace with Lance.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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Re: Oracle Team USA forfeits both ACWS season titles

and A-Rod and McGwire and Bonds and.......... it's pathetic.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-09-2013
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Re: Oracle Team USA forfeits both ACWS season titles

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and A-Rod and McGwire and Bonds and.......... it's pathetic.
Well, in fairness to Ellison, those comparisons are not neccessarily apt...

I'm certainly no big fan of Ellison, but I'd simply point out that there IS the possibility that such modifications MIGHT have been undertaken without his personal knowledge...

Rule-breaking by modifying a piece of equipment of incredible complexity by some of dozens of team members, is just a bit different than an athlete injecting steroids, or whatever, into his own body... I know, for example, that Roger Penske - a car owner as intensely involved in his race team's operation as anyone in motor racing - was not necessarily aware of every 'rule-bending' trick his crews might have ever attempted... :-)

Nevertheless, Ellison's 'take no prisoners, win at any cost' approach most certainly sets the TONE among his team, which might foster such cheating... I'm simply suggesting that, in this particular case, he may very well have been personally unaware of it...
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Re: Oracle Team USA forfeits both ACWS season titles

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Cheating going on in sport....by Americans...I can't believe it! Larry, into the dust bin of disgrace with Lance.
aw, c'mon .... leave Lance out of this .... as Willie Nelson has said: "I think it is just terrible and disgusting how everyone has treated Lance Armstrong, especially after what he achieved, winning seven Tour de France races while on drugs. When I was on drugs, I couldn't even find my bike.”
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Re: Oracle Team USA forfeits both ACWS season titles

a bit more, from the SAILING ANARCHY home page:

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The modifications were made over a year ago by a small number of team members involved in the AC45 circuit, without the knowledge of management or the skippers, and without having followed standard internal procedures. “Our team is very disappointed by this turn of events, and I believe that voluntarily withdrawing from these past AC45 regattas is the appropriate corrective action,” Coutts said. “Going forward we remain focused on our AC72 training in preparation for the upcoming America’s Cup this September.”
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Re: Oracle Team USA forfeits both ACWS season titles

I agree that doping is different, it was more a parallel to the general state of professional sports.

I simply don't believe that mods were made to a 45 ft boat that no one other than some minions knew about, particularly the skipper. That point will undoubtedly be debated.

The point about TONE is spot on and what has been driving all these transgressions, with money being right up there too in most cases.


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Re: Oracle Team USA forfeits both ACWS season titles

It is by now reasonably common knowledge Oracle AC72's were originally designed without foiling in mind and were thus deliberately designed to be stern-heavy to reduce the possibility of going seriously bow-down (that proved to be something of a waste of time as well).

This is also the reason why Oracle attempted to bend the rules under the guise of safety enhancements by proposing additional elevators on their rudders to aid level foiling

Given what is now known to have happened in the AC45 series and seeing how apparently level the Oracle AC72's are foiling in recent times, the measurement committee would do well to look for some strategically placed illegal weights in the AC72's as well.


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