[Source: Rolex Sydney Hobart Race] Investec Loyal’s line honours win is under threat following a protest by the Race Committee of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race this evening.
Investec Loyal crossed the finish line of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s (CYCA) 628 nautical mile race at 19.14.18 AEST in the time of 2 days 6hr 14min 18sec. Shortly after Anthony Bell’s super maxi crossed the finish line off Constitution Dock, a representative of the Race Committee, Howard Piggott, delivered the protest to Bell aboard his yacht.
The Race Committee is protesting Investec Loyal under Racing Rule of Sailing 41 that states: “The sail number of a boat which receives outside help will be notified to the Race Committee with details of the incident and a hearing may be held (if required) to determine any penalty. The penalty for Rule 41 shall be at the discretion of the Race Committee.”
The description of the incident on the protest form is as follows: “Audio recording of conversation between ABC helicopter and Investec Loyal seeking information from the helicopter of the sail plan in use on Wild Oats XI. In particular information as to whether Wild Oats XI was flying a trysail. This is assessed to breach 41 by soliciting help from an outside source.”
The Protest Hearing will be held by the International Jury at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania at 10.00 AEST tomorrow (Thursday).
Dockside after the race finish, Garry Linacre, the commodore of the CYCA, told the assembled crowd: “Some minutes ago I received this copy of a protest form. It is a protest form for the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011, the organizing authority of the CYCA.
“The Race Committee, which is chaired by Tim Cox, has protested that rules may have been infringed on the 27th December at 06:30 hours, 30 nautical miles south of Merimbula. There is an ABC chopper pilot that is a nominated witness.
“I am very sorry about this event, I can assure you. Unfortunately, that has stopped our celebration here, as the result comes provisional until the protest is heard tomorrow,” he said.
“I would like to congratulate Investec Loyal on their magnificent sailing in this race, and also Wild Oats XI.”