Cheating Oracle penalised

The cheats at Oracle have been penalised for cheating.

America’s Cup holders Oracle will start their defence on Sunday minus-two potential points, after being found guilty of cheating by the international jury.

The jury released its penalties today which sees Oracle fine US$250,000 (NZ$321,000), three sailors banned from the entire cup series, and a fourth sailor banned for the first four races.

Half of the fine will go to the Andrew Simpson Foundation, established for the sailor killed in the capsize of the Swedish boat Artemis in May, and the other half will go to a charity to be nominated by the mayor of San Francisco. 

New Zealand members of Oracle Matt Mitchell and Andrew Walker are among the banned quartet.

Mitchell is a grinder on the boat and will be sidelined for the first four races, while Walker is one of the team’s boat builders.

Australian Bryce Ruthenberg is also on the shore team, involved in rigging, and Dutch sailor Dirk de Ridder’s loss will be felt hard as he the wingsail trimmer and regarded as one of the best in the business.

In order to defend the cup Oracle now needs to win 11 races, while Team New Zealand needs to win just 9 races. Let’s hope it is 9 to -2 by the end of the series.


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  • Col

    Forget the 2 points, I just want Team New Zealand go out and win every race in a row, give it to them boys, can’t wait until Sunday, GO TEAM NZ.

  • Macca

    You’ve got to laugh when you hear Coutts saying he knew nothing about it – yeah right! Talk about lying like a flatfish! If that was really the case, he should be sacked for incompetence!

    • Jaffa

      If Coutts knew nothing about it, he would be incandescent with rage, until he found out the people responsible, and sack them on the spot.

      Do you see any of that going on?

      • OT Richter

        Most intelligent thing you’ve said in a long time.

    • AnonWgtn

      “Remember – I pay you and both Mr Ellison and I do not want to know.”
      or be caught – remember denial.

    • Ducky

      must be watching too many ” Mission Impossible”.:-” The CEO will disavowed all knowledge of cheating if caught!.”:- Jim ” Coutts” Phelps.

  • Patrick

    Let’s get on the water and race. That is where the men are separated from the boys. Not in the courtroom

  • bobby

    A two race penalty is unlikely to affect the cup result. The speed of these boats is such that a tiny percentage speed advantage will all-but guarantee the win except in the case of malfunction/error.

    The real sad thing is Luna Rossa were fined $100,000 for simply not attending the regatta launch party, but Oracle have only been fined 2.5 times that here for five confirmed instances of cheating (and it’s not even their first sporting transgression – they were caught illegally spying on another team last year also).

    • unitedtribes

      Exactly right. The fastest boat takes all regardless of the two point penalty. These are just not match racing boats and this is not a match racing contest. Just a media fiasco for the rich prick who owns it. Just hope ETNZ has that edge.

      • It won’t come down to the fastest boat entirely I feel. Apparently Oracle can’t jibe on foils like ETNZ can, and that it is worth 100m on its own.

        • bobby

          Oracle have been flybing fine as of late. It’s now more how soon post-gybe you can resume your optimum heading. Luna Rossa was a quick boat but each time they gybed they had to sail a worse angle to get back up to stable foiling speed. That cost them 50-100m each time.

          Similarly, acceleration out of gybes is now key – and an area which Oracle look very strong at. Don’t be surprised if they trounce ETNZ in races at the lower end of the wind range.

  • Rusty B

    YIP. Oracle…
    One Rich Arsehole Called Larry Ellison.
    Cheating pricks. You watch, if they lose and they will, it will be tied up in court forever!

  • unitedtribes

    And remember that Oracle has two boats to our one. So if it proves that ETNZ is faster just watch for what tricks the cheating bastards will come at next. Nothing would surprise. And yes its great to see WO taking an interest in sport