Volvo Ocean Race has lost cred­i­bil­ity

Herald on Sunday - - IN OTHER NEWS -

or­gan­i­sa­tion, which has sub­se­quently “shook cred­i­bil­ity of the event”, ac­cord­ing to Eh­man.

“It’s get­ting harder and harder to take this race se­ri­ously. With each edi­tion, it’s more like a bunch of hired guns paid to sail mov­ing bill­boards around the world, one stop at a time,” Eh­man wrote in a Sail­ing Il­lus­trated ar­ti­cle.

The Amer­ica’s Cup veteran be­lieves the Volvo fleet sailed into Hong Kong “be­cause Volvo Mo­tor Car Cor­po­ra­tion is Chi­nese-owned and they’ve got two teams”.

“Coin­ci­den­tally those two teams ended up fin­ish­ing first and sec­ond into Hong Kong,” he told Ra­dio Sport.

Dur­ing the fourth leg from Mel­bourne to Hong Kong, Team Sun Hung Kai/Scal­ly­wag chose a route that would have con­se­quently seen them hit a reef, but avoided the po­ten­tial in­ci­dent af­ter race con­trol broke pro­to­col and no­ti­fied crew mem­bers.

Scal­ly­wag then won the fourth leg of the race to which Eh­man opined “made many peo­ple be­lieve that the race had been match-fixed”.

“It raised eye­brows for a whole lot of us who are close in that the boat got out­side as­sis­tance and then they ended up win­ning the race.

“There’s a bit of a con­spir­acy the­ory . . . Team Brunel has Peter Burl­ing aboard and is lead­ing right now, and many peo­ple think that Team Brunel will end up win­ning this leg into Auck­land just be­cause they have got Peter Burl­ing aboard.

“The other no­table Kiwi sailor is Blair Tuke, he’s on MAPFRE, and I’ll bet you any­thing one of those two boats wins.”

Eh­man al­leges the race had con­se­quently lost va­lid­ity among the sail­ing world and “needed to act quickly in or­der to re­gain its cred­i­bil­ity”.

“It’s shaken my re­spect for the Volvo Ocean Race which is said [to be] one of the big three in our sport and it’s shaken the re­spect of the sail­ing world for the cred­i­bil­ity of this en­tire event,” Eh­man claimed.

At the time of go­ing to print, Volvo Ocean Race or­gan­is­ers had not re­sponded to Her­ald on Sun­day re­quests for com­ment.

Tom Eh­man

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