Measurers admit mistake in America's Cup scandal
By Bernie Wilson, APThe America's Cup Measurement Committee has admitted it made a mistake and that one of the three prototype boats owned by defending champion Oracle Team USA was not illegally modified during warm-up regattas last year.
August 18, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
The remaining challengers, Emirates Team New Zealand and Italy's Luna Rossa, had both accused Oracle Team USA of cheating but Oracle Team USA chief executive Russell Coutts told The Associated Press that Friday's admission shows the alterations were not a team-wide decision but individual errors.
Although the boats competed in America's Cup World Series — warm-up regattas — and not the America's Cup itself, the jury could punish Oracle with sanctions that could include a fine, forfeiture of races in the best-of-17 America's Cup match or disqualification.
In a statement released Friday, the measurement committee cited “miscommunication and-or a misunderstanding” on its part in dealing with a boatbuilder who was preparing the 45-foot catamarans for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup in early September.
It previously had been announced that three Oracle boats had been modified without the permission of the measurement committee.
“It doesn't change the fact that we had some lead in the wrong place in the other boats and made some mistakes,” Coutts said. “But it does help show that it wasn't a team-wide issue and this helps us to move forward, as well. I've always said management and the skippers were not involved.”
Last week, Oracle said it was forfeiting its two season championships in the ACWS as well as individual regatta championships.
Coutts said the team plans to apply for reinstatement of the results obtained by Oracle Coutts 5. He said that boat was used by a Red Bull Youth America's Cup team in the regatta at Naples, Italy, last spring, and that that team had to forfeit its results, as well.