I had this up for a brief time but Steve said I was too harsh. I am not always PC but I am alwasy direct…. OK so I softened it a bit but you will still get the idea.
My last post was a big high – one of the best races I have witnessed in the America’s Cup. The boats were close the sailors were even and it was a dogfight. Two days later the Protocol was issued and it has become a sh….. fight! I could go on for hours but put simply; Alinghi has hijacked the Spanish Team’s desire to keep the cup in Valencia and turned the America’s Cup into a completely one way – unfair event that I would struggle to call a competition.
Just for a FEW examples – one journalist said….well at least they got rid of the Russell Coutts rule, referring to a late night pact made a few years ago between BMWO Racing and Alinghi which retroactively banned Russell Coutts from sailing for team other than Alinghi, who Russell had just split from.
What this journalist did not do was read the protocol. 4.4 reads that “ACM may, at its sole and entire discretion, accept or reject any entry received. “
This means that they can essentially ban any team that they don’t like … any team that has someone with the initials R.C. on it – for example.
This is just a VERY small example of the type of things that are in the protocol this time around. If you think that I may be overreacting consider what some wise man said: “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”
With this in mind, the next ‘event’ is not going to be fair.
Consider that last time around the only leverage the Challengers had was that the competition was supposed to be fair and that ACM, in exchange for getting the rights to the Challenger Series, was supposed to run it under ‘neutral management’. For this time around ACM completely refused to even consider agreeing to being neutral.
ACM gets to make all of the sailing instructions, notice of race, schedules etc. with zero input from the Challengers. They even get to choose the boat. It is like the home country in the Olympics getting to decide how long the 100m dash is going to be and if the swimming will be held in salt or fresh water.
Finally – the new boat concept. Well they may or may not be more exciting – they are definitely harder to transport and get in and out of harbors and they are more expensive to sail, build and design. Speaking of designing – what is fair about a competition where one team (Alinghi) gets to design a boat, test it in the tank, tunnel, computer and then let the other teams know what the rule is 6 months later and only 18 months before the competition starts?
In case you didn’t notice – I am NOT happy with this protocol – and FYI this is me speaking as an individual not as a team because AREVA may or may not continue and even if they do I may or may not be involved!