Thursday, October 4, 2007

Modern daylight piracy!

What is an act of Piracy? Is it the forceful attack that qualifies it as piracy or is it a deliberate act of deceit or theft that qualifies it and can it be classified as piracy act by a yacht owner if he doesn't pay the skippers delivery fees? A friend recently delivered a boat from Pt Moresby to Darwin with a very inexperienced owner onboard. They had agreed on a price plus a return airfare to Papua New Guinea when the delivery was completed. When they arrived in Darwin the boat was removed from the water for repairs. The skipper purchased a air ticket to NG and gave a copy of the invoice to the owner. Who said he had no money at that time (Where have I heard that before) and would go to the bank and get his wife in the UK to send him the money. He also asked the skipper to lend him an additional amount of $500 to get a new cutlass bearing for his yacht and he would reimburse him when his money came through. Returning to NG with the whim and a promise of payment to be deposited in his Aussie bank account may of been his big mistake. So his big question to our readers - Is once the owner left Australia and headed to Kupang with the Sail Indonesia fleet has he committed an act of piracy or is it a criminal offence to abscond without payment or just deceitful conduct on his behalf?

VOR to finish in Russia - Singapore or Malaysia stopover?

The historic Russian port city of St Petersburg has been officially announced as the race finish for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. This will be the first time in the race’s 34-year history that the fleet will visit a Russian port and follows the confirmation in late May that Russia will have its own entry in the race backed by St Petersburg businessman Oleg Zherebtsov. The selection of St Petersburg marks another milestone in the 2008-09 iteration of the race after the decision to take the event through the Middle East, Southeast Asia, India and China. The race route is nearing completion with the offshore start set for Alicante, Spain, on 11 October, 2008. So we know the start and finish plus most the ports in between and my bet is on Singapore to come up with the dosh to host the event in front of the Malaysians. Another question is whether these big sailing boats will be allowed to race down the Malacca Straits all the way to Singapore through one of the busiest shipping separation zones in the world.

Stop wrangling over the America's Cup

BMW Oracle has taken Cup holders Alinghi to court over rules they say are unfairly weighted in the defender's favor, including the right to disqualify teams or bar them from entering. On Thursday 20th Sept Alinghi tweaked the rules to address some of those issues but BMW Oracle, bankrolled by software billionaire Larry Ellison, said that was not enough and demanded direct negotiations before they would drop the lawsuit against Ernesto Bertarelli's Swiss syndicate. If defender Alinghi are so hell bent on racing the challengers then like other match racing events, why don't they make a winner takes all series out of it. That's right, do away with the Cup final and have a series of round robins with quarter, semi and grand final to determine to eventual winner. Do away with the challenger and defender and make it an all out scrap with the winner taking the cup home and the next event to be held in the country of their choice. As history has shown that the defender has always slanted the rules in their favour, surely this change is the only way to make a fair and equitable result at the end of the day. But most of all get rid of the lengthy and tedious court room battles because these billionaires are bringing the sport we love so much into disrepute just to fire up their own massive ego's.