AC 34 - What If? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 191 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

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Russell Coutts being the exception, there is a lot of national pride in the land of Kiwis concerning sailing.
That's great, but half the current US Team are from NZ, not just Coutts, and Ellison's billions are a blip compared to the Treasury.


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post #32 of 191 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

There are only so many spots on offer with ETNZ.
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post #33 of 191 Old 09-10-2013 Thread Starter
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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.
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post #34 of 191 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

Hard to have any sympathy for Larry, the biggest ego in the valley. Culture starts at the top. If someone who works for me cheated, then I cheated. No hiding behind the troops. If the team wins, great leaders give their people the credit, and take little for themselves, and all successful people aren't great leaders.

That said, watching those big cat's fly around SF bay is kinda fun!
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post #35 of 191 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

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....That super ego also compels these people to maintain their super reputation.......
What super reputation? He is known as an SOB that must win at whatever he does. There was an article written about his professional career that describes him as somewhere between a bad boy and insane.

I don't need to pound on this. None of us know what we don't know. I just don't think he is good for the sport, for a variety of reasons. He sets many bad examples. You can be a fierce competitor and still have a drink with your opponent when the game is over.
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

I'm not trying to argue in defense of the guy. I'm just trying to wrap my head around why anyone, Ellison, Coutts, de Ridder, et al, who cares at all about their reputation in the sailing world would knowingly do something so blatantly stupid.

Just the idea of rigging a boat outside the rules and then lending it to someone else boggles my mind. It's not just shooting yourself in the foot, it's shooting yourself in the head! And then to do that in the ACWS and put risking being banned from participating in the Cup? What's to be gained? Why would winning the ACWS be more important than winning the Cup? It makes no sense to me.
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

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....Why would winning the ACWS be more important than winning the Cup? It makes no sense to me.
Here's a hypothesis. I'm not saying its true. We don't know the truth. That much is in evidence, with so many unanswered questions. Perhaps they were testing techniques that would carry over. Who won the WS didn't matter at all. Oracle is still the AC defender. Nothing like insuring those that may get caught are separated from the mofia boss.


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post #38 of 191 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: AC 34 - What If?

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That's great, but half the current US Team are from NZ, not just Coutts, and Ellison's billions are a blip compared to the Treasury.
NZ has been the mother-lode for international competitive sailing personnel and not only crew (designers, Management, etc) for many years. Most of the successful racing teams today are richly stocked with NZ sailing talent. In addition much of the component development comes from NZ. Oracle's AC72 rig was designed and built in NZ. Luna Rossa's whole AC72 was built in Auckland from plans produced by ETNZ . The America's Cup is more alive in NZ than it is in the USA.

The other countries that you mention are not seriously into sailing and probably won't sponsor a national team. The US won't, heck they're too busy funding wars. If it weren't for Ellison, the USA probably wouldn't be in the Cup now. I wonder if Obama or Kerry even know it's on. It's not about having the money - it's about wanting to spend it on sailing.

The fact that NZ government is prepared to put considerable amounts of tax payer's money on the line speaks volumes for the sailing psyche in this country. If you attend a boat show in Auckland you're almost certain to run into the Prime Minister wandering around, taking in the products, talking to vendors.

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If NZ provokes national sponsorship, they will lose their best talent.
ETNZ has received government sponsorship for decades, certainly since I have been living in NZ they have. The sailing talent that were in this just for the money have already all gone. So far in the AC34, there seems to be enough talent remaining in NZ.


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Re: AC 34 - What If?

Since taking a shot at the US funding wars needed to be part of your argument, its lost credibility in my eyes.

Ellison, as defender, has taken the cost to this new level. I just realized, I'm not really rooting for ETNZ to win, I'm just rooting for Ellison to lose. I look forward to taking it back in AC35, hopefully without Ellison and without the need to be funded by uber-billionaires and governments.


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Re: AC 34 - What If?

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Since taking a shot at the US funding wars needed to be part of your argument, its lost credibility in my eyes
It was not part of the argument. It was pointing out the idiotic, hypocritical and craven political machinations in the US. And I point out NZ has been a staunch supporter of these follies.
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