ACEA’s Stephen Barclay is concerned about Louis Vuitton parties but not illegally-modified boats — Veladuepuntozero

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ACEA’s Stephen Barclay is concerned about Louis Vuitton parties but not illegally-modified boats

by Vsail.info • 4 settembre 2013 • 34th America’s Cup. America’s Cup. FEATURED. stephen barclay


Throughout the long and acrimonious legal fight between Alinghi and BMW Oracle from July 2007 to February 2010, one of the pillars of Larry Ellison s and Russell Coutts promises was that the future edition, should they come out victorious in the courts, would have fair rules and independent organizing authority. For that reason they set up America s Cup Race Management (ACRM) that is in charge of organizing the on-the-water aspects of the event while America s Cup Event Authority was charged with running the commercial and financial part of the event.

Both bodies were supposed to be independent from the defending yacht club, GGYC, and its team, Oracle Team USA, but reality turned out to be different from Oracle s promises, especially in the case of ACEA as its CEO, Stephen Barclay, until his appointment was the COO of Oracle Team. We always thought it would be impossible for Barclay to turn against his own team and the details of yesterday s Jury decision make it blatantly clear that ACEA and its CEO are in reality an extension of the Defender. Again, there is nothing wrong about that, it s the essence of the America s Cup, but it flies into the face of countless promises made in the last four years.

When, in early July, Luna Rossa filed a protest against Regatta Director Iain Murray for unilaterally modifying the AC72 class rules, ACEA thought the most burning issue in the world s oldest sports trophy wasn t the ludicrous number of challengers, the scant local interest or the lack of media attention but the fact Luna Rossa hadn t attended the opening Louis Vuitton Cup party. For that reason they protested Luna Rossa to the Jury, arguing, among other, that refusal to participate in these Special Events has caused ACEA, Louis Vuitton, the other Competitors, the 34th America’s Cup and potentially the future America’s Cups to come to significant and possibly irreparable harm.

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It seems that allegations of illegal modifications to a boat matter much less than failing to attend a party. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget

Reading that argument one would think the New Zealander would be outraged by the potential damage to the image of the event caused by the allegations that surfaced in August that Oracle Team USA had illegally modified one of their AC45 yachts in 2012 and 2013. However, the details of the Jury s decision on the case are stunning. According to ACEA, the public response to OTUSA s conduct has been negligible and that provided there is no generally perceived issue of corruption in the sport, OTUSA s conduct should have no measurable impact on the future commercial interests of the America s Cup or other rights holders in sailing.

It is extremely hard to understand how a non-incident, such as the failure to participate in a party, which by the way was only reported in the mainstream media of Francisco and Auckland can cause significant and possibly irreparable harm to the America s Cup while a cheating allegation that had extensive coverage through the main news agencies of the world has no measurable impact. Double standards?

Riva Splendida boat
Riva Splendida boat
Riva Splendida boat
Riva Splendida boat
Riva Splendida boat
Riva Splendida boat
Riva Splendida boat
Riva Splendida boat

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