Turning the Gas Up...

If anyone thought that the presence in Copenhagen, Denmark (at the Farr 40 Worlds) of major players from both sides of the Alinghi v Oracle divide meant an opportunity for negotiation and conciliation, they will have to think again. This piece from Stuart Alexander's fine blogspot...

'By the way, there has already been an angry confrontation in the not so wonderful city of Copenhagen. It has been cold and miserable for the Farr 40 worlds, but some heat was injected from outside when Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi asked that the chairman of the jury, Tom Ehman, should step down. As Ehman is at the centre of the litigation by GGYC, at the behest of BMW Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Alinghi, as a competitor, felt there could be some conflict of interest.

Ehman did not step down, doubtless because he thought that his four co-jurors would never allow themselves to be manipulated in what could be seen as vindictive behavour. But Bertarelli’s skipper, Brad Butterworth, is incensed and has written to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with a formal complaint.'

Time for another weary sigh?

I should also point you in the direction of a Q&A with America’s Cup Management's (ACM) Chief Operating Officer, Michel Hodara in the Scuttlebutt for 31st August.

'Q: By the defender participating in the challenger trials (per the Protocol of the 33rd event), is it not possible that the defender may influence the ultimate outcome of the challenger trials? Given that the threat of elimination does not exist for the defender, it would seem conceivable that the defender may choose to lose to a lesser team, which might help this team advance past a stronger challenger that could ultimately pose a problem for the defender in the America's Cup. At the very least, the participation of the defender does open the door for this type of concern.'

'MH: In order to reduce costs, it has been decided to impose to sail only one boat at a time. Therefore, it was reasonable that the Defender could take part in the Challenger series, otherwise, the Defender would have no opportunity to race an opponent while the challengers raced in the Challenger Series.'

Which is as fine a job of not answering the question as I've heard from any politician in recent years. If I'd paid more attention in my freshman Logic 101 classes (was it my fault they were scheduled at siesta time?) I could probably give you the technical name for this kind of flawed argument. But suffice to point out that perhaps the conclusion should be that the problem is with the one boat rule - since it's clearly not reasonable that the Defender can have an impact on the outcome of the Challenger trials, as Michel Hodara's answer seems to accept.


Mark Chisnell ©