Letter to the Editor — Corinthian Ethics vs. Winning at All Cost?


The story in your Aug. 16-29 issue “Champion Team Oracle USA Forfeits America’s Cup World Series Titles” made me angry — but perhaps not for the reason you might think.     

The American team got caught with having boat modifications that were not approved in advance by the Measurement Committee.

Now, it seems that all the international competitors from the America’s Cup World Series are “piling on,” calling the team “cheaters” and whining about how they departed from “Corinthian” ethics and sportsmanship.    

It seems to me that the overall guiding “rule” in America’s Cup competition over the past 25 years has been “it’s only against the rules if you get caught.” That goes for teams that spy on each other, create unauthorized design anomalies to make boats sail faster or take each other to court in an attempt to win the race in a courtroom before it even gets to the water.    

All of those aforementioned things have been standard operating procedure in recent America’s Cup campaigns. The race, today, is a “win-at-any-cost” affair — and the multimillion dollar stakes are higher than ever.    

So, what did Team Oracle USA do any differently from their predecessors? — aside from getting caught?

James Franklin
Santa Barbara

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