Yacht & Coast


Dutch AC cheater spared penalty at home

October 26, 2013 by robert in Featured, Sail with 0 Comments

NIEUWEGEIN _ The Dutch sailing federation is taking no disciplinary action against Dirk de Ridder arguing the Dutch sailor’s exclusion from the 2013 America’s Cup for cheating and the public shaming that followed  were already “a severe penalty.” The Royal Dutch Watersports Federation said on Oct. 23 it would not be ‘’appropriate to impose an additional penalty.” De Ridder is a federation member.

A professional trimmer, he was found guilty of telling 2 AC shore crew members to add weight near the main king post of Oracle Team USA’s lead AC45 during the 2012 World Series. The illegal pieces of lead were spotted when Oracle handed over the craft for the Youth America’s Cup after the Newport races.

The International Jury hearing the AC complaint said De Ridder weight had been added to the forward king post in violation of the AC45 Class Rule during the Newport regatta.” He was then expelled from last summer’s America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay. The jury left it to the Dutch sailing federation and the International Sailing Federation to impose additional penalties, if deemed merited.

In an interview with Zeilen magazine, De Ridder said it hurt not to be part of Team Oracle’s thrilling come-from-behind win which he watched on TV in a San Francisco hotel room. He also sounded bitter. Zeilen quotes De Ridder as saying he got less than a fair hearing and turned into “a scapegoat.” Yet the jury said  De Ridder flip-flopped in his testimony and “did not tell the truth.” He first acknowledging wrongdoing, then back-tracked. The jury said De Ridder:

_ “gave instructions or direction to Bruce 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.”

_ disputed asking for “more weight in the king post. However, Bryce gave clear evidence he received the instruction…from Dirk. The jury accepts Bryce as a more credible witness.”

_ said he asked for a longer king post. “That would have added weight, less than 100 grams but enough to require permission from the Measurement Committee. The jury … does not accept this as a credible explanation.”


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