AC NEWS – Official sources have now confirmed that the Dutch national sailing authority has decided not to take any further action against Dirk de Ridder (NED) following an adverse report by the International Jury during the 34th America’s Cup. See Appeal Case findings below:
Appeal Case [13-13]
Investigation by the Zeilraad (Dutch Appeal Committee) whether or not to conduct a hearing based on:
Report of the AC34 Jury in accordance with RRS (AC edition) rule 69.1(c);
JURY CASE AC31 against Dirk de Ridder (MNA: Koninklijk Nederlands Watersport Verbond)
69.2 RRS (AC edition) 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.
Facts found by the International Jury (AC34): (excerpt)
Dirk de Ridder:
During June 2012, at the site of the AC45 Regatta in Newport, Rhode Island, Dirk effectively gave instructions or direction to Bryce Ruthenberg and Andrew Walker to add lead to the king post of boat 4, knowing this to be in contravention of the AC45 Class Rule. The instruction or direction may not have been explicit, but it was such that Bryce and Andrew were left in no doubt that they should carry out the work.
Dirk disputed that he gave the instruction to put weight in the king post. However, Bryce gave clear evidence that he received the instruction or direction from Dirk and the Jury accepts Bryce as a more credible witness.
Furthermore, the signed interview record (exhibit 17) shows that Dirk accepted that he knew the weight had been added to the king post either at the time of the Newport or San Francisco Regatta. At the hearing, Dirk disputed that he had said that he knew weight had been put in the king post.
Exhibit 17 includes the phrase ‘aware of work done in dolphin striker but not amount weight or time’. When cross-examined, Dirk claimed that the word ‘weight’ was referring to a desire to make the king post longer, which would add weight (a change of less than 100 grams but which would have required permission from the Measurement Committee). The Jury considers his explanation as unconvincing and does not accept this as a credible explanation.
Another phrase included in exhibit 17 was ‘don’t know when aware’. It is the Jury’s view from the cross-examination that Dirk had indicated the truth at the pre-hearing interview – that he knew about the weight in the forward king post.
The Jury is satisfied that Dirk knew that the weight had been added to the forward king post, knowing it was in breach of the AC45 Class Rule, during the Newport Regatta.
Dirk is a very successful and experienced sailor. Like many successful sailors, he has a reputation for attention to detail and a philosophy of many small increments having a significant effect on the performance of the boat. He is assertive by nature and respected by the shore crew.
The Jury is comfortably satisfied that:
Dirk gave the instruction or direction to add the weight to the forward king post; Dirk knew the weight had been added;
Dirk knew it was a breach of the AC45 Class Rule;
Dirk did not tell the truth in the hearing in this regard.
HB 13-13 Page 1 of 2 23-10-2013
Decision of the International Jury (AC34):
The Jury is comfortably satisfied that this conduct was a gross breach of a rule and of good sportsmanship.
Dirk is excluded from further participation in any role in the 34th America’s Cup. RRSAC Rule 69.1(c) requires the Jury to inform his National Authority (Koninklijk Nederlands Watersport Verbond) and the International Sailing Federation, which bodies may impose further penalties.
RECOMMENDATION TO KNWV & ISAF: The Jury makes no recommendation.
Findings and considerations of the Zeilraad (Dutch Appeal Committee)
In accordance with established procedures the KNWV ordered the Zeilraad to conduct an investigation and, when appropriate, conduct a hearing in this matter.
Dirk de Ridder is a member of a Dutch yachting club and therefore within jurisdiction of the Dutch MNA
The Zeilraad has applied the rules as stated in the RRCAC and considered the report sent by the AC jury as a report under rule 69.2(a) of the RRSAC.
- is aware of the extensive work done by the AC Jury;
- noticed the facts found, as worded in the AC Jury-report;
- noticed the wording in reports, particularly JN177 ;
- noticed the Jury has based its decision on the “comfortable satisfaction” standard of proof asused in the RRS 2013-2016, Rule 69.2(c).
- noticed the different recommendations by the AC Jury, regarding the four penalized persons;
- noticed from studies in the archives of appeal cases only one remotely resembles this case,no further reference could be found;
- is aware that it has only limited knowledge of all evidence presented and used by the AC jury.th
The Zeilraad further considered that being excluded from further participation in any role in the 34 America’s Cup for a gross breach of a rule and of good sportsmanship, combined with the world wide publicity on TV/radio, Internet and newspapers, is by itself, a severe penalty.
Having considered all evidence the Zeilraad finds that it is not appropriate to impose an additional penalty
After this investigation the Zeilraad finds that it is not appropriate to conduct a hearing and decides that no further action will be taken in this matter by the Dutch MNA.
rd Nieuwegein, October 23 , 2013