APP responds to Michael Booth and Arthur Arutkin

It is almost time to make another video since the case, we can call it “Michael Booth and Arthur Arutkin vs. APP” goes another round. Here is where we are now:

Michael Booth and Arthur Arutkin are appealing formally to over rule the results from Sunday (APP Longdistance Race Malibu Pier to Santa Monica Pier). Their main reasoning at this point is this:

  • They were under the impression to follow the lead boat at all times.
  • The APP deemed a “No Contest” called by Race Director and CEO.
  • This ruling was later changed by the same people.

Since the APP is recognized by the IOC and the ISA the plaintiffs are looking to bring this case forward to a next instance.

The APP answers with this official statement:

For clarification purposes, our statement of Monday 27th June clearly acknowledged that the lead boat leaving the lead pack to take care of a safety issue created confusion and led to athletes following it and going off course as a result. However it should be noted that at no point in the briefing did we say that athletes were to strictly follow the lead boat, but instead the safety protocol was outlined for the 4 boats that would provide the safety management plan to all athletes present: I know that neither you or Arthur were at the briefing so won’t have heard this, but I verified what was said with all parties to be 100% sure. 

Indeed, the boat’s role is to remain with the lead pack, but it is always on standby to deal with emergency situations should they arise and if other boats in the safety management of the course are not well positioned to respond (which was the case in this situation). While it is clear that unfortunately certain athletes did follow this boat and go off course, thus our acceptance of responsibility for the confusion created, on careful review with the team, no specific rules were broken that could constitute a reversal of the results, thus our decision that the results should stand and the subsequent statement we published that you reference from Monday 27th June. 

Moving forward, we are reviewing all rules and regulations with a view to establishing an updated and very clear set of guidelines that can be followed and referenced for clarity. Our collective goal should be to move the sport forward, learn from each and every experience and set precedents that can be followed and that are consistent. That is our role as management of the World Championship Tour.

Further more we have a direct response from the APP to some statements in the video being put out by Michael Booth:

  1. It was stated that athletes were told to follow the lead boat at the briefing:
    1. This is entirely incorrect, as the statement below details 
    2. The athletes stating this would not know if this is the case or not as they chose not to attend the briefing, something that is critical for all athletes to avoid any misunderstandings about the course that day
  2. The safety management plan was deemed unprofessional in this video put out. In response to this:
    1. We had a comprehensive safety plan that involved 4 boats whose captains are some of the most respected water safety and course management professionals in all of California, having escorted more races than almost anyone else
    2. Each of the boats were equipped with the means to pick up athletes, store boards and deal with emergency medical care
    3. When Boat 1 went off to deal with the emergency situation and attempt to bring people back on course, boat 2 moved forward to support the next pack of athletes, as per the plan and thus why Danny Ching and the pack that was with him was able to confirm they were on the right path. This was an official escort / safety boat for our race employed by us, not just a friend of Danny’s as was represented
    4. We executed a successful safety management of the event and everyone got in safely despite the challenges created by the fog – this was because of the planning that was done and the professionalism of the team.
  3. The disorganized management and late start:
    1. We had a briefing at just before 11am, when I informed the athletes that there would be a 15 – 20minute delay in the start due to the fog, position of media crew etc. They chose to enter the water immediately anyway
    2. This ended up being extended 10 minutes as the breeze just started to fill in and cameras were ready and we in fact started at 11:30am on the dot – they were informed by the Race Director on the start
    3. The start was professionally managed, as was the finish

Stand Up Magazines opinion:

It is very unfortunate that this situation was not able to be handled behind closed doors. We are only now learning that frankly the plaintiffs did not attend athlete briefing, this is shining a different light on the situation. Another very unfortunate piece of information is that the APP changed its mind during the process on Sunday. This appears to have led to larger frustration by the two athletes. Maybe the initial PR by the APP was a bit unfortunate as they assume responsibility as well as telling writing as much as “….hey should not have to worry about course management or other logistics.” We made a separate analysis of this.

In case there is a “higher court” than the APP management, we feel that for the sake and reputation of the Sport, Athletes and APP this case should be brought forward to a different panel such as the ISA. Proper statement should be collected so a sound decision can be made.

In order to prevent situations like this we also have a simple solution: Make race briefings mandatory and have everybody sign in. You could even go one step further: Automatic DQ if an athlete fails to attend a race meeting.

This case would go no where if this was already in place.

As of right now these are the results standing:

2BodieVon AllmenUSA1:42;30
6Franco FaccinARG1:49;32