The Global Challenge Race Committee today (31st March 2005) announced their intention to protest Pindar, “for a breach of RRS [Racing Rules for Sailing] 42.1 following notification, under General Sailing Instruction 20, of the use of their engine in reverse gear at 1530 (local time) on the 27th March 2005.”
Pindar were at position 44.39S 50.33E when the incident in question occurred, in 17/18 knots of headwind. After a report of a sluggish helm, kelp was found to be trailing under the transom. Assuming the rudder was fouled, Pindar was brought hove-to and the crew attempted to dislodge the kelp using the boat hook.
In the heat of the moment the engine was engaged for approximately 1-3 minutes in reverse gear only. This time, again using the boot hook, a large ball of kelp was freed from its position where it had indeed been fouling the rudder before racing resumed.
The crew then recognised, with the benefit of hindsight, that this action may be regarded as a breach of RRS Rule 42.1 and immediately notified the race committee. In accordance with the Sailing Instructions, they will present a full written report to the Race Committee within 24 hours of the leg finish.
The Protest Hearing will take place on 14th April at the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town. The International Jury, appointed by ISAF, will hear Pindar’s case along with any other protests lodged within 24 hours of each yacht crossing the finish line and award any penalties if deemed necessary.
“It’s not as cold when it smashes you in the face…” The sea temperature is finally rising for the Global Challenge fleet according to Imagine It. Done. skipper Dee Caffari.
The fleet is heading northwest in pleasant conditions with 15-20 knots from the west-southwest and Imagine It. Done. is still leading the way. The breeze is gradually backing to the southwest and moderating after a bout of variable conditions made sail-plan decisions incredibly difficult.
“The wind strength has been changing dramatically in the last 24 hours from 0 – 35 knots,” wrote Team Stelmar skipper Clive Cosby this morning, “we’ve had thunderstorms and dead calm. Boat speed has therefore also varied from -1 (backwards) to 12 knots down the line. We have had to react accordingly and are changing sails and reefs several times during the watches.”
Imagine It. Done. suffered in the variable winds, skipper Dee Caffari reporting that, “Getting stuck in every wind hole possible was not in the plan or the weather file. However these things happen and it is good for the crew to hoist every sail in the forepeak and then pack a kite at the end of it all! I am very frustrated and can only hope that Spirit of Sark and BP Explorer get their own wind holes to sit in.”
This afternoon, however, the winds are far more reliable, Dee Caffari reporting “more consistent breeze and less swell so getting the boat going is a lot easier.” And she has used them well; Imagine It. Done. creeping ahead once again. Spirit of Sark (2nd), skippered by Duggie Gillespie, trail by 12nm and BP Explorer, skippered by David Melville, trail by 22nm.
The current estimated time of arrival for the lead yachts is the afernoon of Monday 4th April.
Imagine It. Done. 865nm
Spirit of Sark 877nm
BP Explorer 887nm
Team Stelmar 927nm
Barclays Adventurer 985nm
SAIC La Jolla 995nm
Me to You 1,038nm
BG SPIRIT 1,069nm
Team Save the Children 1,224nm
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