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RCYC's eligibility rule due for overhaul

19th July 1996
RCYC's eligibility rule due for overhaul By DAVID O'BRIEN CORMAC TWOMEY'S decision to withdraw Sarah J from Ford Cork Week following disqualification on an eligibility ruling, may have wider implications for the Beneteau 42 S7, which is the leader in the Carlsberg sponsored Royal Alfred YC Superleague on Dublin Bay, which continues tomorrow. The yacht's tactician, Mark Pettit was disqualified on Wednesday on the basis that he had his financial well being affected by the results of this amateur regatta. Royal Alfred Yacht Club commodore Dick Lovegrove told The Irish Times yesterday: "The RAYC provides corinthian racing and paid hands are not allowed". There have been protests in the past relating to professionals on board and the protest result in one previous case prevented a yacht from winning the overall league. When asked if the RAYC would take any action in the light of this week's Cork regatta ban. Lovegrove said: "It is always a matter for protest because the club cannot possibly monitor all the crews on all competing boats, but if as a result of protest our rules have been broken, the RAYC will uphold the result of the jury."
Tomorrow's ninth outing of the superleague will have a reduced entry of big boats, with most competitors still in Crosshaven celebrating the end of the week's spectacular racing there, and while the RCYC can be justifiably proud of what they have achieved, the eligibility rule which served them well in the past may now be due for an overhaul, given the ill feeling generated by Wednesday's rulings. In a written reply to the committee Cormac Twomey said: "The decision of the committee was based solely on innuendo and hearsay. I am disgusted by the unfairness of the manner in which you handled this matter as well as the decision itself. You have impugned the honesty and integrity of myself, Mark and the rest of my crew. The lack of a hearing has been a source of anger and while the organisers of this fun regatta have hung grimly to the aspirational notion of its corinthian status, the effect has been anything but fun on some crews and suggests the club on this occasion may have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Chief race officer, Donal McClement, refused to be drawn into the "realms of legal argument". After all it is a sailing event, but as the regatta gains in world prestige, the rules need to change from their somewhat subjective eligibility code in order to avoid the sort of incident that happened midway through this week. . In America, 17 year old Laura Dillon and crew Ciara Peelo (16) have won a bronze medal at the IYRU youth world championships in Rhode Island with a win in the final race of the 18 boat Laser II event. . Media reports about toxic pollution on Lough Derg contributed to the decision to cancel last weekend's mirror Western Championships. The club were forced to cancel the 100 boat event at the eleventh hour because they were unable to evaluate reports and ascertain whether there was a threat to the safety of the participants. Despite this, club commodore John Tierney confirmed yesterday that the LDYC junior section and also the club race programme have not been affected by the reports and there are no records of illness from their sailors.
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