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DSQ's at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez
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The Publisher

Oct 28, 2008, 11:08 AM

Post #1 of 5 (11288 views)
DSQ's at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez Log-In to Post/Reply

Scuttlebutt 2702
Background information: Dan Meyers had chartered his Judel/Vrolijk 66 Numbers to Ernesto Bertarelli for Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, held September 27-October 4, 2008 in Saint-Tropez, France. --

From Dan Meyers, Newport, RI:
Thanks to the French Sailing Federation for a perfect example of what is wrong with Grand Prix sailing. After race three of the Voiles de St Tropez, the Federation disqualified 19 boats for having any type of sponsorship despite obviously ineffective notification. If there was appropriate warning how could 19 boats miss it? NUMBERS won all 4 races in a 41 boat class but with the DSQ, finished 6th overall. At the hearing the first question from the jury chairman to our representative was, "Are you American?" No, he was from New Zealand. The second question was "Do you know Ernesto Bertarelli?" "Yes, he is driving the boat." Then, "You are disqualified.”

How can ISAF let this happen? Does the Federation know how much time, effort, and money it takes to bring 19 boats and crews totaling over 400 people to St. Tropez? The French didn't mind charging millions to house, transport, and feed them. But they hate sponsorship. Oh, hold on now, they LOVE sponsorship for themselves, promoting Rolex, Wally, Cegedim, Les Echos Serie limitee, Gaastra, Sillinger, Paris Premiere, Port de Saint Tropez, CCI, Regions Provenxe-Alpes-Cote d' Azur, St Tropez tourisme and Ville de St Tropez. They just hypocritically don't like sponsorship for the boats. No wonder the sport is shrinking.

We will not return where we are treated so poorly. Adieu St Tropez. Too bad French federation officials have short memories about Americans. If it wasn't for General George Patton and the American Third Army, they might know the best places to get weiner schnitzel in their beloved St. Tropez.

The Publisher

Oct 28, 2008, 11:09 AM

Post #2 of 5 (11284 views)
Re: [The Publisher] DSQ's at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Scuttlebutt 2703

* From Mats Grip, Sweden: (re, Dan Meyers’ letter in Scuttlebutt 2702) When exactly are Americans like Mr.Meyers going to stop using the “You would be German if it wasn’t for us” argument as soon as they disagree with the French? Come on, it’s been sixty years and change, you can’t use that any more. Do you think you deserve some kind of special treatment from the French because of WW2? In that case, the French owe a lot to other nations as well, like the British and the Canadians. Why not the Russians while you’re at it. If you really, really want to play the history card, America would be British if it wasn’t for... wait for it.... oh yes; the French.

* From Philippe Herve: I am surprised you broke your own rules and published Dan Meyers’bashing and personal attacks. The fact that General George Patton and the American Third Army played a fantastic role in the second world war, does not give anyone, regardless of his nationality, to blatantly reject the rules of a 21st century sailing competition. Considering the time and money it took to bring the boats to St Tropez, a small investment could have been made to read the sailing instruction.

=> Curmudgeon’s Comment: Aside from the history lessons, there are a few items to take note of in this mess. It is unclear why the race officials waited until the third race to raise the issue of advertising rather than deal with it at the beginning, why they chose to disqualify all the offending yachts in the third race rather than issue a warning, and how there could be a contention among the inflicted boats that the English version of the race documents did not limit advertising. Interestingly, the Notice of Race (NOR) is online - in both French and English - and states that “The French version of the text shall prevail over the English one.” Seems to me that it is not worth translating the document at all if it is not assured to be accurate. Also interesting is how at the very top of the NOR online it clearly states that the event would use the Category A Advertising Code, which means that the boats could not have any additional advertising beyond what was required by the event organizers. It is hard to believe how 19 boats missed this requirement, assuming that the online information was consistent with the documents that were provided to the contestants.

The Publisher

Oct 28, 2008, 11:10 AM

Post #3 of 5 (11283 views)
Re: [The Publisher] DSQ's at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Scuttlebutt 2704

* From Barry Dunning: If you are going to quote history then to be accurate. It was General Patch who commanded the US 7th Army in the landing of the 15th August 1944 in the south of France, accompanied by the French Second Cops. It was on the 12 September 1944 that French troops from the south met with the French units of General Pattons Third Army near Dijon. The sailing instruction translation was confusing. The boats should have been warned and given the opportunity to conform to the French S.I's which prevailed.

=> Curmudgeon's Comment: This thread has provided history lessons, and provided insight into the due diligence needed when attending events in unfamiliar countries. We have heard from others that had planned to have advertising on their boat at this event, but were able to learn in advance that it was not permitted. Time to close this thread and move on.

The Publisher

Oct 28, 2008, 11:11 AM

Post #4 of 5 (11282 views)
Re: [The Publisher] DSQ's at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Maguelonne Turcat
Relations Presse
Tel +33 (0)4 91 31 57 40
Portable + 33 (0)6 09 95 58 91

Details from the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, organising club, concerning the remarks made by Mr Dan Meyer, owner of Numbers, as regards his disqualification in Les Voiles de Saint Tropez 2008, as published in letter No.2702 from 14th October on

Les Voiles de Saint Tropez – and the Nioulargue before it – have always been contended within the framework of the category A rules for advertising in accordance with ISAF Regulation 20 Advertising Code (RRS 79).

This regulative framework is indicated in the notice of race, as well as in the Sailing Instructions given to the competitors during their registration.

It is very obvious that this choice:

* Answers the organisers’ desire to maintain the image of yesteryear and to avoid the commercial exploitation of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez.

* Assumes the corresponding means – of the Referees on the water and an independent Protest Committee to ensure this rule, like any other, is respected.

At the end of the first race of the 2008 edition of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, on 29th September, 21 boats were the object of a complaint for failing to respect the rule relating to advertising. These boats were properly informed by the Protest Committee and warned without sanction.

Two days later, on 1st October, 16 of the 21 boats initially charged were adapted so that they conformed to the rule. 5 boats which had committed a second offence, along with 5 new boats, were properly summoned, for failing once again to respect the rule relating to advertising. None of these boats came forward to the Protest Committee. All of them were disqualified, as laid down in the International Racing Rules of Sailing.

For information only, 318 boats and nearly 3,500 crew made up of over 10 different nationalities participated in the tenth edition of Les Voiles, and over a hundred case files remained, as is the situation every year, on a waiting list – for want of an opportunity to play host to them and be responsible for them in good safety conditions – bearing out the regatta sailors’ interest in the event and its characteristics.

The owner who is calling the organisation into question agreed to race at the last minute, and a special effort was made to find him a space in the port of Saint Tropez.

The organisation behind Les Voiles leaves it to all those who made an effort to conform to the rules, to all those who couldn’t have a place in the port, and all those who weren’t able to register, to appreciate its meaning of fair play.


Oct 28, 2008, 7:14 PM

Post #5 of 5 (11254 views)
Re: [The Publisher] DSQ's at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Maybe I just dont understand. In the latest saga from Les Voiles de Saint Tropez, the protest committee on Scuttlebutt now states "None of the boats came forward to the Protest Committee". Are they kidding? Are they now saying the hearing was not a hearing? Will they also disavow bragging that they threw boats out of the Bol d' Or? Do they have a comment about asking our representative if he was American? Or if he knew the helmsman? Or how 19 or 21 or now stated 10 boats got it wrong? Can we stick with the facts here please.

Dan Meyers

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