World Sailing International Jury to hold two hearings on Thursday

Team Holcim-PRB files protest against 11th Hour Racing Team

Jury receives protest about start line incident from The Hague

On Wednesday 28 June, Team Holcim-PRB filed a protest against 11th Hour Racing Team, relating to the collision at the start of Leg 7 involving GUYOT environnement - Team Europe.

The protest is about Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 14 and 16.1.

RRS 14 reads, in part: “A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, if a boat has right of way…and if she is complying with the other rules of Part 2, a right-of-way boat…need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear.”

RRS 16.1 reads, in part: “When a boat acquires right of way or when a right-of-way boat alters course, she is required to give room for the other boat to keep clear. The other boat must promptly manoeuvre in a way which offers a reasonable expectation that she will keep clear.”

Andrés Pérez, the chairman of the World Sailing International Jury for The Ocean Race has scheduled a hearing for this protest at 0930 on Thursday 29 June, just ahead of the previously scheduled Request for Redress.


World Sailing International Jury to hear Request for Redress on Thursday

The redress decision is the last step before crowning the winner of The Ocean Race

Shortly after the start of leg 7 in The Hague, 11th Hour Racing Team was hit by GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, knocking both boats out of the leg with significant damage.

Benjamin Dutreux, the skipper of GUYOT environnement - Team Europe promptly acknowledged responsibility for the collision, retiring from the leg. 

11th Hour Racing Team returned to The Hague and immediately set about repairing its boat with a goal of rejoining the fleet for the Grand Finale in Genova. 

The rules of The Ocean Race don’t permit a team to suspend racing on the final leg of the event, so 11th Hour Racing Team was also forced to retire from leg 7, before finishing its repairs and starting its ‘race within a race’ to get to Genova ahead of Saturday’s In Port Racing.

The team also filed a Request for Redress with the International Jury, a common procedure in the sport of sailing, whereby a team may be awarded points if its finishing position has been made significantly worse through no fault of its own.

The Jury has scheduled this hearing for 1000 on Thursday 29 June.

Currently, 11th Hour Racing Team trails Team Holcim-PRB by a single point on the leaderboard, but has scored no points for leg 7. Should the Jury award a redress of one point or more, 11th Hour Racing Team would be the winner of The Ocean Race. If no points are awarded, the current standings would become final and Team Holcim-PRB would be the overall race winner. 

Since the outcome of 11th Hour Racing redress hearing may affect the full IMOCA fleet, the International Jury wants to give the teams the right to be present at the hearing to present their views and ask questions to ensure as fair an arrangement as possible.

Accordingly, the International Jury, acting under Racing Rules of Sailing 60.3(b), will simultaneously consider redress for Team Holcim-PRB, Team Malizia, Biotherm and GUYOT environnement - Team Europe, following the collision at the start of Leg 7 . 

The World Sailing International Jury consists of six Jury members, including Jury Chairman Andrés Peréz. The full Jury is here:

Andrés Pérez IJ/IU ESP (Chair)
Chris Atkins IJ/IU GBR (Vice Chair)
Pauline Den Burger IJ NED
Line Juhl IJ DEN
George Priol IJ FRA
Sofia Truchanowicz IJ/IU POL

IJ = International Jurer
IU = International Umpire

The procedures for a hearing on a Request for Redress are well established as outlined below.

The relevant section in the Racing Rules of Sailing is Rule 62.1, which reads, in part:
A request for redress or a protest committee’s decision to consider redress shall be based on a claim or possibility that a boat’s score or place in a race or series has been or may be, through no fault of her own, made significantly worse by… injury or physical damage because of the action of a boat that was breaking a rule…and took an appropriate penalty or was penalized…

Along with Rule 64.3. Decisions on Redress: When the protest committee decides that a boat is entitled to redress under rule 62, it shall make as fair an arrangement as possible for all boats affected, whether or not they asked for redress. This may be to adjust the scoring (see rule A9 for some examples) or finishing times of boats, to abandon the race, to let the results stand or to make some other arrangement…

The decision from the International Jury on the Request for Redress will be communicated after it is reached.

Under the rules of The Ocean Race, any party to the hearing (any of the IMOCA teams) would have 30 minutes after the decision to file a request to reopen. If no request is made after 30 minutes, the Redress decision is considered final. 

If there is a Request to Reopen, the Jury may consider the request immediately. The decision made by the International Jury on this request is considered final.