Most egregious cheats?

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Inspired by my own trolling comments on the Keel mod thread, what are some of the most over the top (or maybe under the radar) examples of sailboat racing cheating over the years?

 
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Mr Moab

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641
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Water ballast in IOR boats in the AC. 

Williwaw, Louisiana Crude and Acadia cheat in SORC in the 80's

Italian J-24s with lowered mast steps to increase rake in the 80s

Donald Crowhusrt doing donuts off Brazil, reporting false positions  while he was supposed to go around the world. Of course that one did not end well.  

 

Greyhound37

Super Anarchist
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Annapolis
So not sure it was cheating or accepted by the rating board but...

When I was racing a New York 36 there was one here that was way faster than our old girl which was pretty dialed in.

One day at the yard I noticed the fast NY36 hauled.

Deep Keel

deeper custom rudder

carbon rig and bulkheads I was told

We rated the same 

 

Svanen

Super Anarchist
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Whitby
what are some of the most ... under the radar ... examples of sailboat racing cheating over the years?
Stacking.

If you talk with racers about this, all too many don’t even know that Rule 51 exists. More than a few of the remainder quietly acknowledge cheating engaging in the practice, but defend it on the basis that “everyone else does it” and “the Rule is unenforceable”. Of course, the first ‘argument’ is not true and the second could also be said about using the engine ...

 

A3A

Member
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US Olympic Finn trials in 1984. Have a throw out to spare, so start way prematurely and camp all over your only threat to dive him to the back of the pack and insure your series win.

 

SloopJonB

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Great Wet North
Beer ballast

Ballast.jpg

 

bgytr

Super Anarchist
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The cheats at the high end of the sport are bad enough, but it's the local yocal races that get me.  Why in the hell would folks cheat against their fellow club members, neighbors, etc.?  Examples:

 On the Chesapeake, a guy was rated with a fixed 3 blade prop. He had a midseason haulout and another local sailor saw his folding 2 blade martec, and checked up on him.  Banned from racing on the Bay for life.

Another Bay guy in a night race who shall remain notoriously nameless for his rule breaking reputation. Turned his running lights off in an upwind night race that was moonless, windy, and very dark, black hulled boat (for those who know the Bay, what black hulled series of boats come to mind with green trim? This was before he got really big boats, this one a 40 footer).  We saw him fortunately at the last second to avoid a t-bone. As we crossed we yelled where's your running lights, his reply, "that's stealth". 

 
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On the Chesapeake, a guy was rated with a fixed 3 blade prop. He had a midseason haulout and another local sailor saw his folding 2 blade martec, and checked up on him.  Banned from racing on the Bay for life.
Surprised anyone called him on it. I know know of at least three boats out of spec with the sails/equipment claimed on their phrf certs, and sometimes people whisper, but I have never heard of a protest on it.

 
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bgytr

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Surprised anyone called him on it. I know know of at least three boats out of spec with the sails/equipment claimed on their phrf certs, and sometimes people whisper, but I have never heard of a protest on it.
A 3 blade fixed vs a folding prop in light to medium winds such as the Chesapeake is killer.  If you don't nab the cheating f**kers you get what you deserve, just like in business and politics.

 
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For sure, but how did they go about it? Protest at end of a race, or take pictures and contact phrf? Seems the kind of thing to cause no end of local controversy.

 

bgytr

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For sure, but how did they go about it? Protest at end of a race, or take pictures and contact phrf? Seems the kind of thing to cause no end of local controversy.
The prop was back in the IOR days.  From what I heard the protester was a buddy of one of the local racing officials, called him up and he came down to the boatyard.  Done deal right there.

 

Starboard!!

Member
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Another Bay guy in a night race who shall remain notoriously nameless for his rule breaking reputation. Turned his running lights off in an upwind night race that was moonless, windy, and very dark, black hulled boat (for those who know the Bay, what black hulled series of boats come to mind with green trim? This was before he got really big boats, this one a 40 footer). 
Karma took care of that though... (and the Chesapeake tunnel and whales)

 
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Svanen

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Surprised anyone called him on it. I know know of at least three boats out of spec with the sails/equipment claimed on their phrf certs, and sometimes people whisper, but I have never heard of a protest on it.
As bgytr implies, sailing is a self-policing sport. But all too often, people just shrug and blame the race committee.

Cristoforo said:
Wow  20 seconds early and told people  he would do it beforehand  
It was all the other guy’s fault:rolleyes:

(F)or those who know the Bay, what black hulled series of boats come to mind with green trim?
getImage.gif


 
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billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas
In'82, I did Newport - Bermuda on Flyway, X-Williwaw (Peterson 48, IIRC) that cheated the tilt test in the rule with lead shots in the spreader tips to appear more tippy than she would otherwise have been.  DC was driving Williwaw at the time, and proclaimed innocence of any knowledge of this.  BN fell on his sword and took one for the team.

https://www.nytimes.com/1981/07/24/sports/owner-of-williwaw-banned-for-2-years.html


Harvey Ward, the professional captain of Williwaw, one of the country's foremost ocean-racing yachts, has admitted cheating, and the 48-foot sloop's owner, Seymore Sinett of Plainfield, N.J., has been suspended for two years, the sport's governing body disclosed yesterday.
 




Sinett was disqualified effective July 15 in what is believed to be the most severe penalty ever handed out in yacht racing. Dennis Conner, who skippered Williwaw in the Southern Ocean Racing Conference last winter, was found ''to have no involvement in the rating compliance failure,'' according to a statement issued by the United States Yacht Racing Union. Conner also was the helmsman of Freedom, which won the America's Cup last fall.
 




The action was the result of a 14-week investigation by a special three-man committee appointed by the Yacht Racing Union to determine why the handicap ratings of the yachts Williwaw and Acadia rose substantially when they were remeasured after the Southern Conference ended. Williwaw's rating rose a foot and Acadia's increased 1.2 feet, prompting the removal of both from the United States team in the Admiral's Cup series, which begins in England next week. Burt Keenan of Lafayette, La., Acadia's owner, was given a continuance by the Yacht Racing Union until Aug. 1. After that, the union will issue a ruling. Used Hose to Fill Bilges
 



 

Ward, who was the paid hand responsible for staying with the boat and maintaining it, testified that, before the handicap measurement of the boat last July, he had used a hose to fill the bilges with water ballast and that extra gear, not normally carried when racing, was placed on board.
 




Ward, who had left Sinett's employ last month, told Robin Glover, chief measurer for the international Offshore Racing Council, who is acting in the union's behalf, that he had added the water and the extra gear in Sinett's presence.
 




Sinett heatedly denied this yesterday and asserted he had no knowledge of any extra weight being added to the boat. Nevertheless, under Section 19 of the rules of yacht racing, the owner is held solely responsible for the validity of the yacht's rating certificate. In issuing its statement, the Yacht Racing Union said it found Williwaw's rating discrepancy to be ''substantial and without mitigating circumstances.'' 2,400 Extra Pounds
 





 
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It is possible to load a boat so that it floats deep and heavy for its official handicap measurement and then to remove some weight for racing.
 




The yacht racing union said that 2,400 pounds of weight were added to Williwaw for its July 1980 measurement, but that the boat didn't race the Southern circuit with this weight. The racing union determined this amount by viewing the full hull lines of the boat on a computer screen and comparing them with the measurement points on the boat's rating certificate.
 




Sinett said the only reason the boat was remeasured in July, after its original measurement in May, was ''because we had a lot of new fittings on the deck. We reinforced the whole thing and this put on a lot of weight.''
 




He said that there was not extra gear and that it was impossible to put much water in the bilge because the floorboards are close to the bottom. He also said that, if there had been water in the bilge when the boat was measured, it would have affected the boat's righting moment, a factor that is measured for the rating certificate, but it didn't, he said. Yacht's Owner Banned
 




The owner of the top ocean-racing yacht Williwaw was banned by the Yacht Racing Union for two years for handicap irregularities. A21.

 

billy backstay

Backstay, never bought a suit, never went to Vegas
Did the Gloucester Schooner race, and it was light air.  Owner ran the boat with the engine on until just before the start, when he shut it off.  Since we were the only really good light air boa, we would have won handily probably, without him doing this.  No cheers, just jeers at the Awards, and most of us never set foot on his deck again.

 

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