US sailing personalities file court papers in favor of BMW Oracle
During the last 10 days, a number of US sailing personalities filed court papers in favor of Golden Gate Yacht Club and the San Francisco based challenger of the 33rd America's Cup published them yesterday on their website.
Alan Block is senior editor of Sailing Anarchy, by far the world's most popular sailing-related website. We are sure that any website with half the statistics Sailing Anarchy has would be very happy and as a result we consider his opinion matters. In his affidavit, Block argues that the contents of the agreement between Alinghi and ISAF that has been kept secret so far should be revealed and made public.
Tom Ehman is an America's Cup veteran having taken part in every edition since 1980. He has served as executive director of the US Yacht Racing Union, head of the US delegation at ISAF as well as member of the ISAF Council. His current position is spokesperson of GGYC, the San Francisco-based America's Cup challenger. As a result, it is obvious his affidavit is in support of his team's position.
Ehman argues that thanks to a technique that exists since at least 1987 called "photogrammetrics", Alinghi has been able to "easily obtain" detailed and precise measurements of the BMW Oracle trimaran given their "ongoing surveillance" since the launch of the yacht. As a result, argues Ehman, "Alinghi certainly knew the dimensions of GGYC's challenge vessel well before SNG disclosed its measurement rules to GGYC on August 6, 2009".
Halsey Herreshoff is a naval engineer that founded the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 1992. He's a four-time America's Cup winner and grandson of legendary yacht designer Nathanael Herreshoff. According to Herreshoff, his grandfather designed a boat named Amaryllis, which is "believed to be the first multihull designed in the United States". Herreshoff has "prepared many original yacht designs" that ultimately formed the basis for the construction of "over ten thousand boats". He has also been "intimately involved in the design modifications of some" of the defending yachts from 1958 to 1983. He has also measured "over one hundred yachts" from 1961 to 1975 being the official measurer for the Cruising Club of America. Herreshoff argues that rudders are not included in the length on load waterline measurement. According to Herreshoff, "no boat in any America's Cup competition of which I am aware, included the rudder in measurement of the length on load waterline".
Richard Slater is currently Rules Advisor of BMW Oracle and held the same position for the its previous campaign in Valencia. Before that, he was Rules Advisor for SNG in the 31st America's Cup and for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in the 30th America's Cup. Slater's main argument regards the inclusions of the rudder(s) in measuring the length of load waterline. According to Slater, BMW Oracle "relied on the common current and historical practice" which doesn't include the rudder(s) and "the rudder on SNG’s current vessel (“Alinghi 5”) is below the water-line and hence its inclusion in the measurement does not lengthen its vessel’s measurement of length on load water-line. Thus, there appears to be no purpose to SNG’s inclusion of the rudders in its measuring rules other than to assure disqualification of GGYC".
Should you be interested in even more legal reading material, all affidavits can be accessed in the above box.