Dirk de Ridder avoids Dutch sanctions, ISAF sanctions still loom

Published on October 28th, 2013

De Zeilraad, (Sailing Council), an independent body from the Dutch Watersport Federation, will not be additionally penalising the America’s Cup sailor Dirk de Ridder. De Ridder, who would have sailed in the 34th America’s Cup for Oracle Team USA, was suspended just before the final of the America’s Cup.

Background
The Dutchman, in U.S. service, was found guilty by the International Jury of the 34th America’s Cup of having given the instruction to add extra weight to a smaller prototype, which in 2012 was only used in the preliminary rounds. This is considered a breach of Rule 69 – Racing Rules for Sailing; Allegations of Gross Misconduct

The Zeilraad (The Sailing Council)
The Sailing Council is an independent body appointed by the General Assembly of the Dutch Watersport Federation. Amongst other things, the Council provides sailors the opportunity to appeal when disputes arise during races. In addition, the Council examines any reports of penalties awarded to persons in the Netherlands, as well as Dutch sailors abroad, under Rule 69; allegations of gross misconduct.

The role of the Sailing Council
In this situation, the Sailing Council was informed by the International Jury of the 34th America’s Cup of the violation of Rule 69 in question by Dirk de Ridder. The Sailing Council is left free to further investigate and conduct hearings. The Sailing Council may, when deemed necessary, award additional penalties to a sailor in question. Just to be clear, the Sailing Council cannot reverse or change the ruling. The ruling of the International Jury, according to the Racing Rules of Sailing (special America’s Cup Edition), is not open for discussion.

Findings of the Sailing Council
The Sailing Council has studied the report of the International Jury, along with any supplementary materials and has, amongst other things, considered the following:
• The Council is aware that it has limited knowledge of all the evidence used by the America’s Cup Jury in this ruling.
• The Sailing Council does not consider it appropriate to conduct further investigations or hearings.
• The Sailing Council has also considered that the entire exclusion of involvement of Dirk de Ridder at the 34th America’s Cup, combined with the damage inflicted as a result of the global negative publicity, is already a heavy punishment in itself.

Ruling
Taking all the above into consideration, the Sailing Council is of the opinion that it is not fitting to award Dirk de Ridder an additional penalty. To read the full ruling click here.

Next step
The ruling of the Sailing Council is send to the Review Board of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). The Review Board can award De Ridder additional penalties but can also not reverse or change the ruling of the International Jury of the 34th America’s Cup.

For more information please call Simon Keijzer + 31 6 54 75 44 05

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