America’s Cup champion Oracle forfeits ACWS titles

Published on August 9th, 2013

By Bernie Wilson, AP
America’s Cup champion Oracle Team USA forfeited its overall championships from the first two seasons of the America’s Cup World Series on Thursday after it was determined that its yachts were modified without the permission of the Measurement Committee.

The violation occurred when America’s Cup teams were sailing 45-foot training yachts, before they launched the 72-footers that are being used in this summer’s competition on San Francisco Bay.

While seemingly insignificant in the big picture, the violations are another smudge on an already troubled regatta.

At the very least, it’s an embarrassing mistake by the powerhouse syndicate, which is owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison. While it won’t affect the America’s Cup trophy itself, Oracle will turn in some trophies won during four ACWS training regattas last year and earlier this year.

Syndicate CEO Russell Coutts, a four-time America’s Cup winner, called the violations — adding about five pounds of extra ballast to each boat— a “ridiculous” mistake that didn’t affect the boats’ performance.

“This is a serious issue for us,” Coutts said in a conference call with reporters. “It may have had little effect on the performance, but it’s breaking the rules and the international jury may be obligated to conduct an investigation as to how it happened and establish whether people intentionally broke the rule.” – Read on

Click here for Oracle Team USA statement.

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