Volvo Ocean Race: Jury penalizes three teams
Published on June 3rd, 2015
Lisbon, Portugal (June 3, 2015) – Three boats in the Volvo Ocean Race received point penalties for Leg 7 sailing rule infringements from the independent ISAF-appointed jury sitting in Lisbon on Wednesday.
Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR), Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) and MAPFRE (Iker Martínez/ESP) all admitted sailing the wrong way in Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS) and were each penalised a point to be added to their overall total in this low-scoring event.
Additionally, Team SCA were given an additional penalty point for sailing into an exclusion zone (see Noticeboard for full details of all infringements).
The decisions mean that Dongfeng Race Team drop a further point behind overall race leaders, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), Charles Caudrelier’s crew trailing now by six points with two legs to go.
The Chinese-backed team are now level on 22 points with Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) – the Dutch crew officially ranked second because of their superior record in the in-port series, which breaks ties.
MAPFRE drop back to 27 points, level with Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA), but the Turkish/American team move up to fourth courtesy of their better in-port record.
All three teams admitted their infringements in the hearing, but said in mitigation that there had been confusion over how clearly the TSS zones had been marked and the angle the boats were allowed to sail within them.
“This gave us no advantage, it was an honest mistake,” Team SCA skipper, Sam Davies, told the jury. “There was no shipping in the vicinity at the time, so no safety issue.”
The jury was earlier given evidence from Race Director, Jack Lloyd, who said that the offences took place early in the 2,800-nautical mile (nm) leg from Newport, Rhode Island, to Lisbon, which started on May 17.
The infringements were spotted by Race Control staff and corroborated by diagrams of sailing movements sent from the crews themselves.
Both MAPFRE and Dongfeng Race Team witnesses said that recently introduced guidelines of sailing in TSS zones had confused sailors and that improvements needed to be made in the future to assist crews from inadvertently breaking sailing rules.
The penultimate leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France (647 nm) will start on June 7 with an ETA between June 9 and 12.
Background: The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race began in Alicante, Spain on Oct. 11 with the final finish on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Racing the new one design Volvo Ocean 65, seven teams will be scoring points in 9 offshore legs to determine the overall Volvo Ocean Race winner. Additionally, the teams will compete in 10 In-Port races at each stopover for a separate competition, the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Series.