Dirty cheaters

September 4th, 2013 at 10:41 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The America’s Cup international jury today docked Oracle Team USA two points in the America’s Cup match race series against Emirates Team New Zealand, banned a leading Oracle sailor from the regatta and excluded another from taking part in the first four races.

In addition Oracle have been fined US$250,000 while two Oracle shore crew have also been excluded from the 34th America’s Cup, which begins its best-of-17 series on Sunday morning at 8.10am (NZT).

The action comes after days of jury inquiries into allegations of cheating involving the discovery of illegal modifications to AC45 45-foot catamarans belonging to Oracle and used in the America’s Cup World Series. The team members are the first ever to be excluded from an America’s Cup regatta for cheating.

Oracle seem to have been doing their best to destroy the America’s Cup. I hope they lose 8 to – 2.

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58 Responses to “Dirty cheaters”

  1. 2boyz (255 comments) says:

    That $250K’s going to hurt :)

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  2. WineOh (609 comments) says:

    Delighted that they didn’t get a slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket. I agree that the Americas Cup has spiraled into a battle of the best lawyers and the most money rather than an exciting sport. The number of competitors for the Louis Vuitton Cup says it all really.

    (technically we hope to win 9 : -2 … its still best of 17 races).

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  3. WineOh (609 comments) says:

    @ 2boyz, its not a matter of the money, its the competition points and bans that will hurt.

    Rugby World Cup was another interesting example of using selective penalties that will cause pain:
    * The English got stung for swapping out the incorrect balls for taking kicks, penalised by suspending the crew that did it. Financial ban wouldn’t have hurt them in the slightest.
    * Samoa fined $10K for the sponsored mouthguard, all the Pacific teams are strapped for cash so they’ll feel it

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  4. dime (9,685 comments) says:

    meh they cheated two years ago on different boats.. shit happens.

    hope we smash em though.

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  5. anonymouse (708 comments) says:

    If oracle loses, I can see a whole pile of court cases on the validity of this punishment……- which will stretch out so long they would likely screw up any event that NZ may plan to hold for the next cup challenge….

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  6. Colville (2,198 comments) says:

    I cant see the point in the fine. $250k is probably less than a single day of costs for the Oracle camp.

    But yeah we need to win on the water. Not gonna be easy.

    Wine Oh. We only need to win 8. That leaves then a max of 7 points from 9 races.

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  7. rouppe (945 comments) says:

    I hope the referees (or whatever they’re called) crawl all over the Oracle boat before every race to make sure they don’t cheat again

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  8. burt (8,044 comments) says:

    The last government showed us what to do here…. spend millions of tax payers money so that the PM has a photo op with the players in the worlds wealthiest sport !!!!!

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  9. doggone7 (756 comments) says:

    Some professional sailors were punished as their part in a “dirty deed”. They were in an event which was critical in the planning, experimenting and testing phases leading to the development of boats for the America’s Cup. Even in recent weeks the importance of modifying the finest details to improve performance has become clear as Team New Zealand points out after every race .

    So any slight changes are carefully considered and the result of wide ranging discussion and teamwork between sailors, designers and off-water crew. So independently, a couple of sailors off their own bat, decide to do something radical to a boat without reference to others in the chain they always operate in as long time professionals, at the highest levels of their sport. They go over the head (or behind the back) of a boss who in some cases they have had long lasting connection with in the business. That they would secretly tamper as they did with no knowledge of their boss, given the environment they operate in, is beyond belief.

    To me it seems the banned ones are the fall guys who have taken one for the team (and captain) in the pursuit of experimenting and developing the best knowledge for the Main Event. They are expendable.

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  10. WineOh (609 comments) says:

    @ Colville, got it thanks. I had not thought about what Oracle would need to win, just that TNZ would need to still take a majority of 17. I stand humbly corrected & will wear the dunce cap in the corner for the next… uhh… 5 minutes.

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  11. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    (technically we hope to win 9 : -2 … its still best of 17 races).

    But if NZ wins the first 8, there is only 9 left. Even if Orcale wins all 9, they still lose. So we need to win only 8.

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  12. Peter (1,674 comments) says:

    No matter who wins, everyone connected with this sorry court driven farce of a “sport” loses.

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  13. georgebolwing (686 comments) says:

    I understand that it is still “first to nine wins”, meaning that NZ has to win nine races, Oracle 11, which means that the maximum number of races has been increase by two, in the event that NZ wins eight.

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  14. Colville (2,198 comments) says:

    WineOh. If that is the worst you do today you will be doing fine. :-)

    Peter. We need to win and bring the race here to be run under sensible rules (so we can win again)

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  15. stigie (1,005 comments) says:

    Colville says
    But yeah we need to win on the water. Not gonna be easy.

    You are right Colville, as i said earlier on GD, that Oracle have the advantage of 2 boat testing and unlimited funds,
    I hope i am wrong but i think they will be a click faster than TNZ.

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  16. dime (9,685 comments) says:

    “The last government showed us what to do here…. spend millions of tax payers money so that the PM has a photo op with the players in the worlds wealthiest sport !!!!!”

    NZ made plenty out of hosting the Cup. A shit ton of GST.

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  17. stigie (1,005 comments) says:

    Correct Dime, a shit load of money to made if the cup comes back to NZ.

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  18. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    The last government showed us what to do here…. spend millions of tax payers money so that the PM has a photo op with the players in the worlds wealthiest sport !!!!!

    New Zealand regularly show up to the world’s oldest sporting event with technology that leaves everyone else running to catch up.

    If that’s not a fantastic advertisement for our country and it’s ability to innovate, I don’t know what is.

    (Plus of course that it brings the cup here, with people who have more money than most movie stars.)

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  19. Nostalgia-NZ (5,045 comments) says:

    ‘They go over the head (or behind the back) of a boss who in some cases they have had long lasting connection with in the business. That they would secretly tamper as they did with no knowledge of their boss, given the environment they operate in, is beyond belief.

    To me it seems the banned ones are the fall guys who have taken one for the team (and captain) in the pursuit of experimenting and developing the best knowledge for the Main Event. They are expendable.’

    doggone hits the nail on the head. This is similar to blaming the workers in a munitions factory for a country breaking the Geneva Convention.

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  20. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    While Oracle may still have the faster boat, this will have devastated their team cohesion. That counts.

    Just remember the red boat challenge – all those nights in the jury room destroyed the team’s ability to function and the lost the final. It was for good reason that Peter Blake made sure the black boat had nothing controversial that might trip up the team.

    And of course if these guys really were hung out to dry, the team isn’t going to be very motivated to enable the coverup on behalf of the boss, are they? Who wants to work hard to let a cheater win?

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  21. stigie (1,005 comments) says:

    Peter says…
    No matter who wins, everyone connected with this sorry court driven farce of a “sport” loses.

    Tell us who loses Peter and why ?

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  22. tknorriss (327 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t write Team NZ off yet.

    Even if the Oracle boat is slightly quicker, there are a number of things in Team NZ’s favour.

    1. Apparently the Team NZ boat is a lot easier to sale. This means they will find it much easier to get 100% out of their boat.
    2. There has already been evidence of how durable the Team NZ boat is. This means they are more likely to finish races without mishaps.
    3. The team NZ sailing team is very slick, meaning they can get around the course very efficiently.
    3. Oracle has lost some key sailing personnel with the penalties imposed. This is likely to be relevant to points 1, 2 and 3 I have just made.

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  23. ciaron (1,390 comments) says:

    Oracle seem to have been doing their best to destroy the America’s Cup. I hope they lose 8 to – 2.

    Thats one way to look at it. The other is of course that they have tried to make the racing spectacular to draw a wider audience, and to a large extent the AC72 class does that. I bet there would be plenty of bitching about IACC’s doing 10knots in every direction going for 2 hours with joe average not having a clue about what is actually going on. The style of racing we have now is much more accessable to those without particular knowledge, and those of us who have can appreciate the elite skill and seamanship all of these crews display

    I don’t know how much you really know about sailing in general DPF, but it is always the case with a new rule that the first generation or two will be all over the box until the fastest corner has been found, then the real cheating begins, as they try to find ways of making the rule think the boat is slower than it actually is.

    BTW, we lost in 1992 because of a successful protest from the Italian syndicate skippered by Paul Cayard. so you could say that we have been dirty cheaters too.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Challenge

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  24. peteremcc (341 comments) says:

    “To win the America’s Cup, a team must score nine points, the highest ever number in the competition’s 162 year-old history. The defender now starts with a deficit score of minus-2 and must win 11 races to retain the trophy. Emirates Team New Zealand, the challenger, is unaffected and must win 9 races as before.”

    In other words, it could still be won 9-8 by Oracle, they’d just have actually won 11 races to 8, so 2 extra races needed to be raced.

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  25. Judith (8,465 comments) says:

    I guess if you can’t win it, the best option is to destroy it so it no longer exists, then you can’t be classified as a loser.

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  26. stigie (1,005 comments) says:

    @ Judith

    I guess if you can’t win it, the best option is to destroy it so it no longer exists, then you can’t be classified as a loser.

    Dont be silly Judith !

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  27. alex Masterley (1,502 comments) says:

    Some thoughts.

    No-one knows how fast either boat are. They are both quick. HOw quick and who is faster won’t know until the start take place.

    ETNZ have a settled team. Oracle have just lost a wing trimmer and one of their other crew has been stood down for 4 races. The wing trimmer is the greatest loss. But the back up isn’t bad I am told, but he hasn’t sailed with Jimmy Spithill.

    The ETNZ boat is built to finish, is stable (as much as these things can be said to be stable) and on top of that has been modified and improved so it is quick. Oracle came to the table with a fast, unstable boat. hopefully the stability has improved but the shots I have seen suggest there is still inherent instability and they take some time with FLYBs.

    Sunday morning will be interesting.

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  28. OneTrack (2,838 comments) says:

    So a possible scenario is that we could “beat” them 9 to 10? And they weren’t allowed to use all of their team? Yeah, that would be good……

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  29. OneTrack (2,838 comments) says:

    ciaron – “The other is of course that they have tried to make the racing spectacular to draw a wider audience, and to a large extent the AC72 class does that”

    That’s true and I fully supported what Oracle have tried to achieve. When those things go round the mark on the foil, ETNZ especially for some reason, it does look bloody impressive.

    However, now we have seen a few races I, for one, find I do prefer the slower, more traditional boats and would favour a return to the older format.

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  30. ciaron (1,390 comments) says:

    @ OneTrack;
    concur, bring back reach-to-reach gybes!

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  31. Paulus (2,568 comments) says:

    Whoever’s boat crashes first is the loser.

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  32. edhunter (523 comments) says:

    Dirty Cheating Oracle blah blah blah, best lawyers blah blah blah, we’d never cheat blah blah blah.
    Does no one care to remember NZ’s first 2 attempts? The farce that was KZ1 both in the courts & on the water, and what about KZ7 to quote DC “There have been seventy-eight 12 Meters built, all in aluminum. Why would you want to build one in glass… unless you wanted to cheat”

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  33. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    and what about KZ7 to quote DC “There have been seventy-eight 12 Meters built, all in aluminum. Why would you want to build one in glass… unless you wanted to cheat”

    Um, what does a scurrilous (and patently false) accusation later withdrawn have to do with actual, proven, blatant cheating?

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  34. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    edhunter- When NZ cheats it’s all “this ain’t tiddlywinks” and “you do what you have to” etc etc (Yep- I still remember the ‘Plastic Fantastic’ and the absurd ‘Big Boat’ Challenge…)
    Yet if Oracle are suspected of pushing the rules (something Team NZ are fucking notorious for) the media goes into ‘Dirty Dennis’ mode-Howling and wailing like we are fucking Holier than Thou….
    A bit like an Adi Black’s test- Everyone else plays dirty and cheats. Except our beloved Angelic boys….

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  35. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    In other words, it could still be won 9-8 by Oracle, they’d just have actually won 11 races to 8, so 2 extra races needed to be raced

    But it’s only a 17 race competition. So Oracle will be doing very well to race 19 times. :)

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  36. alex Masterley (1,502 comments) says:

    Ross,

    I understand that there is scope to do 2 further races if it gets to that stage.

    I hope we don’t get to that point, but if we do the event might even be considered exciting!

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  37. edhunter (523 comments) says:

    @ Scrubone so KZ7 wasn’t fibreglass & the rest of the boats weren’t Aluminium?
    And Longknives totally agree the bloody cheating refs rob my beloved warriors every damn week through no fault of their own ;-)

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  38. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    @ Scrubone so KZ7 wasn’t fibreglass & the rest of the boats weren’t Aluminium?

    Ah, so you are actually making that claim. I must admit I wasn’t 100% sure anyone would say something that stupid.

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  39. ciaron (1,390 comments) says:

    Um, what does a scurrilous accusation from someone trying to cover their ass

    he hardly needed to “cover his ass”… 4-1 remember?

    the point is, just like king Ritchie, pushing the rules as far as you can IS a major part of the game.

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  40. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    he hardly needed to “cover his ass”… 4-1 remember?

    I believe that came later.

    At the time, he was embarrassed due to having shown up with an out-of-date boat.

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  41. ciaron (1,390 comments) says:

    Ah, so you are actually making that claim. I must admit I wasn’t 100% sure anyone would say something that stupid.

    The deal was, if you built a boat in glass, you could theoretically build the hull in different thicknesses to put the weight and stiffness where it was most beneficial, so the criticism was legitimate and Conner persisted in this (he wanted multiple core samples which would have destroyed the boat) untill a few descrete holes had been drilled to confirm compliance.

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  42. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    Oh God help us all if Team NZ win again. The jingoism at subsidised wealthy yachtsmen winning a trophy nobody but the sort of people who wear blazers care about is just cringeworthy. And the farce will continue once again. Please please God let Oracle win so that we can kill off this ridiculous spectacle once and for all. Let’s return this competition to a pastime of inbred millionaires who like to piss away their money, not governments who like to piss away our money.

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  43. stigie (1,005 comments) says:

    Oh God help us all if Team NZ win again.

    Oh God, you are a bloody sad man/woman Blair M !!

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  44. Paul Marsden (990 comments) says:

    I’m not so interested in the racing as I am in the technology behind it all. Technology that has the potential to earn New Zealand boat-loads of moola. An investment worth every cent of NZ taxpayer’s money. Brilliant stuff from Team NZ.

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  45. KevinH (1,160 comments) says:

    Team Oracle will no doubt take the International Jury’s decision to an appeal at a later date, however the decision released today is fair and reasonable, disqualifying Oracle would of destroyed the event.
    Talk of boat speed is totally onerous, it is not a question of who has the fastest boat but rather who has the best team to sail two evenly matched boats. In the America’s Cup whomever wins the start has an advantage especially the pre start manoeuvres. There is no Brad Butterworth master tactician to contend with, however there still is Sir Russell Coutts who with his legendary steely grit and determination presents the greatest challenge to Team New Zealand.
    Should we win the event it will be a boost to our economy through tourism as well enhance our nations reputation internationally as a nation of winners.

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  46. Steve (North Shore) (4,524 comments) says:

    Maybe my math is wrong. Minus means minus, but it does not create two more races.
    17 means first to be plus NINE.
    Why is that so fucking hard to work out? Tomorows schools have variable arithmetic

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  47. Steve (North Shore) (4,524 comments) says:

    BlairM,
    It’s safe now, nobody is watching, you can sneak off back to the commune now.
    Don’t forget your cellphone son, and fill up with petrol on the way

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  48. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    untill a few descrete holes had been drilled to confirm compliance.

    Exactly – the boat was within the rules, and Conner’s accusation did not have any factual basis.

    Comparing a failed complaint arising from new technology to the sort of cheating Oracle engaged in is completely absurd.

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  49. Griff (7,016 comments) says:

    The cup places New Zealand as a innovative and advanced county
    Having it here generates irreplaceable free advertising marketing our ability’s as niche high tech players. The Yachting ties into our tourism industry excitement extreme adventure and out doors .

    Its always been about twisting the rules to the max.
    That’s why the yanks kept it for so long.

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  50. Mark (1,436 comments) says:

    From what we have seen so far this cup will be a series of drag races. If oracle is faster the penalty is meaningless. If the nz boat is faster they will win. Simple really. Don’t think match racing will come into much at all

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  51. Colville (2,198 comments) says:

    Can anyone answer (with citation) is it best of 17 or first to 9 wins?

    Coz they aint the same now and we have a mish mash of opinion above.

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  52. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    Exactly Griff. And the people who come here to watch aren’t backpackers either!

    Its always been about twisting the rules to the max.
    That’s why the yanks kept it for so long.

    Exactly. Lawyers have been part of the cup for decades, if not longer.

    But that’s about pushing the rules to the max, not about flagrantly breaking them such as Oracle have done here. No one (as far as I know) has ever even considered arguing that what Oracle did might be within the rules under some stretched definition.

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  53. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    If oracle is faster the penalty is meaningless. If the nz boat is faster they will win. Simple really. Don’t think match racing will come into much at all

    If NZ is faster, they’ll take the cup. They’ve been foiling longer, have a battle-hardened team and a tough boat.

    But as has been mentioned above, Oracle need a top performing team to keep their boat at top speed. They don’t have that anymore.

    So even if they are faster, they might not be able to get that full speed out of the boat consistently, and without failures. And if they screw up in any way, they’ve got what is still a very fast boat behind them ready to sail away with the prize.

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  54. Nostalgia-NZ (5,045 comments) says:

    Rather than seeing one team disadvantaged for any reason, I’d rather see a nail biter with two champions at the stand. That gives credit to the history of the race, the innovations and so forth. If the kiwis need to rough it up to win, I’m sure they’re very capable, hardened, and ready.

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  55. ciaron (1,390 comments) says:

    Quick thoughts on the possible outcome:

    when we have tried to be innovative, we’ve gotten smoked.
    1987 – plastic fantastic, got smoked 1-4
    1988 – leviathan attempt at nostalgia, got smoked 0-2
    1992 – double whammy twin keel & bow sprit, got smoked 3-5
    2003 – pushing the envelope too far and a very loose interpretation of “appendage” rules, got smoked 0-5

    when we have had a reliable, good all-round boat, we’ve done ok.

    This one will be down to the conditions, our best chance I think will be if oracle damage their cat.

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  56. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    I’m wondering what the worse outcome is-
    Team NZ win it and those pampered rich kids (who have swanned around in designer sunglasses at the taxpayers expense for too long) come home and get a taxpayer funded series of ticker tape parades..
    Team NZ lose so they come home crying to the taxpayer for more cash (“$40 million just isn’t enough”) to spend on designer clothes and sunglasses for the next campaign…

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  57. Nookin (3,194 comments) says:

    Mark

    It’s a bit like a sprint race on a one lane track, eh?

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  58. alex Masterley (1,502 comments) says:

    What pampered rich kids?

    I know a number of the sailing crew on ETNZ. They mostly started off as boat builders, builders, riggers and sailmakers (even Dalts has done a sail making apprenticeship). The only one who could be called a rich kid is Dean Barker and I would hardly call him pampered.

    What they have in common is they are bloody good sailors who turned down serious money to sail for ETNZ as opposed to Oracle, Artemis or Luna Rosa.

    I know the government (not this one, the last one) put 30mil into the pot. Just remember on top of that base, Dalts has raised a further 70-100mil to pay for things, mostly the hardware the sailors are using. Also remember that there will have been significant amounts of GST and PAYE paid over the time and the free advertising of NZ that ETNZ is generating for the country. Having Luna Rosa here and also having Oracle do a lot of their boat building up in warkworth has helped the economy as well.

    As for designer gear have you looked at what the AB’s wear recently?

    As you were rant over.

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