“The Spirit of AC” by Paul LE JONCOUR

I have read the opinions of the young AC leaders about the future of AC. A very rich and interesting work.

Lee our President has answered these letters and I agree to his comments. However, I would like to add a word about the original spirit of the Challenge.

I’m quite uncomfortable when I read this suggestion: ” All teams must have their own boat to compete; otherwise they should be disqualified or not allowed to race”.

Why this very imperious rule? What difference is there between a crew on his own boat and a crew on a loaned boat? If we had applied this rule the Russian and the Dutch crews wouldn’t have been in Genoa. They were both on French boats. The Russians borrowed a boat for financial reasons I think and the Dutch so as to be able to compete for the first time. Russians are members of AC since 1990; the Dutch are now very good advocates of AC and want to build or to buy a boat.

In 1986, in the first AC there were 2 contestants: USA and France, the French used a USA boat. In 1988, the Youth of USA gave AMITIE to the YOUTH of France, Denmark, and a new entrant, competed on a French boat. In 1990, Norwegians competed on a French boat. In 1992, the French competed on a USA boat. And so on.

The philosophy of AC has always been mutual assistance, friendship, share of ideas, share of skills, share of means between the different crews and countries. AC is opening towards the others not the contrary.

On the same chapter, I am uncomfortable to read: ” All countries must have only one entrant to make it a fair competition”. This comment is not very kind as I feel it simply directed against the French. Did they hamper the contest and could the writers explain how the fact to have 4 boats for a country instead of one can affect the fairness of the competition? Fairness is in the behaviour of the crews not in their number.

AC is generosity, open- mindedness, and understanding. We have to pay attention not to transform it in a closed club reserved for an elite.