CAPE TOWN – Apropos the Racing Rule 69 "Misconduct" protest hearing tomorrow involving Volvo Ocean Race sailors David Witt (AUS), skipper of Scallywag, and Steve Hayles (GBR, the team's ex-navigator who left the team earlier this week during the Cape Town stop-over), perhaps one has to live in a Commonwealth country to know what Sudocrem is.
For the rest of us, enquiring minds, including some of our Dear Readers, want to know.
According to Wikipedia, it is is "an over-the-counter medicated cream aimed primarily at the treatment of nappy rash [How appropriate! -TFE]. It contains a water-repellent base (consisting of oils/waxes); protective and emollient agents; antibacterial and antifungal agents; and a weak anesthetic. As well as nappy rash, it can also be used to treat eczema, bedsores, acne, minor burns, surface wounds, sunburn and chilblains."
For you Yanks, a nappy is a diaper.
Sudocrem has a 5-star rating on Amazon, with over 600 favorable customer reviews. So it's very highly thought of in the countries where you can buy it. Amazon says it is similar to Desitin, a best seller in the USA, which one can attest was used, years ago, by her parents on our Deputy Editor.
In case you are wondering what this is all about, there was a full report in this morning's The Australian, the national newspaper Down Under (no pun intended). The article quotes verbatim and extensively from the offending (to some) video that the VOR has had removed from YouTube and Facebook, citing copyright, but which was posted today on the front page of Sailing Anarchy.
The Australian kindly gave credit to Sailing Illustrated for breaking the news of the Rule 69 protest earlier this week, to wit:
Australian skipper faces misconduct charge in Volvo race
The Australian. 12:00AM December 7, 2017. NICOLE JEFFERY. Sports reporter. Sydney @nicolejeffery
Australian skipper David Witt is facing a misconduct charge after an incident on the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.
It is understood that Witt will appear before an international jury at a hearing in Cape Town today to answer a complaint that he has breached Rule 69 of the racing rules of sailing.
The race organisers would say only that they would “provide an official communication after the hearing on Thursday’’.
Rule 69 says that “a competitor, boat owner or support person shall not commit an act of misconduct’’.
Misconduct is defined as “conduct that is a breach of good manners, a breach of good sportsmanship, or unethical behaviour: or conduct that may bring the sport into disrepute’’.
Witt, the skipper of Hong Kong-based yacht Scallywag, and his British helmsman Steve Hayles feature in a video that was posted to the team website during the second leg of the round-the-world race (from Lisbon to Cape Town) last month. The video purports to be a “breakfast show’’ and begins with Witt saying: “Adult warning: everything in this segment will offend most sections of the public domain.’’
Witt later introduces the only female crew member on board, Dutch Olympic silver medallist Annemieke Bes as “Doctor Clogs’’ and says they have a question for her from a viewer.
Hayles then says: “The question is: Our skipper David has a rash on his scrotum and they would like to know how these two are meant to apply the Sudocrem (an ointment)’’.
Bes, who is wearing a fake beard, is rendered speechless and Witt chimes in saying that the doctor is “mute’’ and “just does hand signals’’.
“So it’s in the Sudocrem and rubbing the Sudocrem like this,’’ he says while he pretends to remove cream from a jar and rub it into Hayles’ genital area.
The video was posted to the team’s website and automatically reposted to the Volvo Ocean Race website where it reportedly remained for several days before the race organisers removed it after complaints from the public.
The incident was then referred to the race’s protest committee.
A sailing website, www.sailingillustrated.com, broke the news of the hearing on Tuesday and posted a copy of the video to its Facebook page. However, the video was removed later that day. The original video was the subject of social media discussion within the sailing community for weeks.
Witt had attained a level of notoriety before the race even began when he declared, “There is no room for women on my boat”, in response to race rules that rewarded teams that included women with extra crew places.
“I’ve made my decision — we’re going with seven guys,’’ he said. “It’s hard enough to win the race, the last thing we need is to be part of a social experiment.”
So if you didn't before, now you know. Sailing Illustrated works hard to be the most informative sailing website on the planet, getting right to the bottom of things.