International Jury To Conduct Rule 69 Hearing Over Oracle AC45s

Published on August 19th, 2013

(August 19, 2013) – The International Jury issued two Jury Notices on Monday morning, both relating to the “unauthorised modification of AC45 yachts.”

JN101 says that “The Jury has decided to conduct a hearing under the Racing Rules of Sailing (America’s Cup) rule 69.1 to determine if allegations (that persons associated with ORACLE TEAM USA may have committed Gross Misconduct) are true and, if so, to decide what disciplinary action to take.”

The Jury has ordered that all matters concerning this case remain confidential until further notice but notes that when the hearing has been completed, its decision will be published.

JN102 is directed at the team instead of individuals. Here the Jury “has decided to conduct a hearing pursuant to the Protocol, to determine whether ORACLE TEAM USA has breached Article 60.1 of the Protocol.”

This hearing will take place following the Rule 69 hearing.

The Jury is not publishing the date of the initial Rule 69 hearing but it is understood it will take place as soon as possible.

Rule 69 of the Racing Rules of Sailing (America’s Cup)

69.1 Action by the Jury
(a) When the Jury, from its own observation or a report received from any source, believes that a person associated with a Competitor may have committed a gross breach of a rule, good manners or sportsmanship, or may have brought the sport into disrepute, it may call a hearing. The Jury shall promptly inform the individual in writing of the alleged misconduct and of the time and place of the hearing. If the individual provides good reason for being unable to attend the hearing, the Jury shall reschedule it.
(b) If the Jury decides that the person committed the alleged misconduct it shall either:
(i) warn the person or
(ii) impose a penalty by excluding the person and, when appropriate, disqualifying a yacht, from a race or the remaining races or all races of the series, or by taking other action within its jurisdiction. A disqualification under this rule shall not be excluded from the yacht’s series score.
(c) The Jury shall promptly report a penalty, but not a warning, to the national authority of the person and to the ISAF.
(d) If the person does not provide good reason for being unable to attend the hearing and does not come to it, the Jury may conduct it without the person present. If the Jury does so and penalizes the person, it shall include in the report it makes under rule 69.1(c) the facts found, the decision and the reasons for it.
(e) If the Jury chooses not to conduct the hearing without the person present or if the hearing cannot be scheduled for a time and place when it would be reasonable for the person to attend, the Jury shall collect all available information and, if the allegation seems justified, make a report to the relevant national authority and to the ISAF.

69.2 Action by a National Authority or Initial Action by the ISAF
(a) When a national authority or the ISAF receives a report alleging a gross breach of a rule, good manners or sportsmanship, or a report alleging conduct that has brought the sport into disrepute, or a report required by rule 69.1(c) or 69.1(e), it may conduct an investigation and, when appropriate, shall conduct a hearing. It may then take any disciplinary action within its jurisdiction it considers appropriate against the competitor or yacht, or other person involved, including suspending eligibility, permanently or for a specified period of time, to compete in any event held within its jurisdiction, and suspending ISAF eligibility under ISAF Regulation 19.
(b) The national authority of a competitor shall also suspend the ISAF eligibility of the competitor as required in ISAF Regulation 19.
(c) The national authority shall promptly report a suspension of eligibility under rule 69.2(a) to the ISAF, and to the national authorities of the person or the owner of the yacht suspended if they are not members of the suspending national authority.

69.3 Subsequent Action by the ISAF
Upon receipt of a report required by rule 69.2(c) or ISAF Regulation 19, or following its own action under rule 69.2(a), the ISAF shall inform all national authorities, which may also suspend eligibility for events held within their jurisdiction. The ISAF Executive Committee shall suspend the competitor’s ISAF eligibility as required in ISAF Regulation 19 if the competitor’s national authority does not do so.

Article 60 of the Protocol for the 34th America’s Cup

60.1. The favorable reputation of the America’s Cup, its regattas, events, selected venues, Officials, sponsors, commercial partners and its Competitors is a valuable asset and creates financial and other tangible and intangible benefits for all. Accordingly, each Competitor shall not (and shall use its best efforts to ensure that any team member, owner, officer, employee, contractor, affiliate, agent or representative of the Competitor shall not) and each Official shall not make or cause to be made, or authorize or endorse, any public statement, or engage in any other act or conduct or any activity, in each case, on or off the water, that is prejudicial or detrimental to or against the welfare or the best interests of the America’s Cup, or the sport of sailing, or that may impair public confidence in the honest and orderly conduct of the America’s Cup, any Event, or in the integrity and good character of any Competitor, Official, selected venue, sponsor or other commercial partner of the America’s Cup. Conduct contrary to the welfare or the best interests of the America’s Cup includes, but is not limited to, public statements that unreasonably attack or disparage a regatta related to the America’s Cup, an Event, a selected venue, a funder, a sponsor, a commercial partner of the Event or a Competitor, another Competitor, an Official, or the commercial viability or integrity of the America’s Cup or any of its regattas or events, but responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement are not prohibited.

60.2 The Jury is authorized to discipline or otherwise penalize any Competitor (including any team member, owner, officer, employee, contractor, affiliate, agent or representative of the Competitor) or Official found by the Jury to have breached or violated Article 60.1 of this Protocol. The Jury may initiate its own enquiry into any breach or violation of Article 60.1, or may act upon receiving a report or complaint by or on behalf of any Competitor or an Official. The Jury may impose such penalties or orders as it believes to be just and equitable in accordance with this Protocol, including but not limited to those penalties set forth in Article 15.4(d). Any fines imposed by the Jury for breach of Article 60.1 shall be paid as may be directed by the Jury as it determines to be just and equitable.

60.3 All defined terms used in this Article 60 shall have the meanings given to them in this Protocol, with the addition, for the purposes of this Article 60 only, of the following:
(a) the definition of “Competitor” in Article 1.1(p) includes the yacht club holding the America’s Cup; and
(b) the definition of “Officials” in Article 1.1(mm) includes the Event Authority and ACRM and their respective officers, employees, contractors, representatives and agents. Story

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