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NZL Sailing Team- Young Kiwis pinged in Palma

by Richard Gladwell on 6 Apr 2011
NZL Sailing Team are New Zealand’s national Sailing team competing in Olympic sailing events Yachting NZ
The top scoring young New Zealand crew of Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders have fallen foul of the International Jury at the Princess Sofia Regatta sailed at Palma, Majorca, Spain.

After placing fourth in the second race of the second day of racing, the 20year old New Zealanders, sailing in their first Olympic campaign in the Mens 470, were involved in a port and starboard (intersection) incident, which saw them taken to the International Jury room after the conclusion of the day's racing for a Protest Hearing.

The protest was bought by the right of way, or starboard tack boat, sailed by a Japanese crew.

After the Hearing Snow-Hansen and Saunders reported back to Yachting New Zealand:

'Second race we yet again got a bad start, our Swedish friends one to leeward were BLF (Black Flagged - for an early start) so hanging back was probably the right decision.

'We had a great beat but came in on port layline where there was a very close incident with the Japanese.

'We gained again on the next downwind rounding the top mark in fifth.

'We rolled FRA7 on the reach and managed to hold fourth to the finish. However our top mark incident was close, we thought we completed our tack without them having to luff. The japanese thought otherwise and took us to the protest room.

'Unfortunately with only our word against theirs, so the Judges DSQ (disqualified) us.'

The Int Jury decision means that the fourth place for that race is scored as a DSQ, which scores them the maximum penalty points - equivalent of last boat in the fleet plus one, under what is a low scoring points system (ie the boat with the lowest points wins).

That has dropped them down the points table from provisional fourth to 22nd. However they will be able to discard their worst placing later in the series, assuming that there are no further indiscretions by the New Zealanders.

Racing continues tomorrow in the regatta which doubles as the third leg of the six event ISAF World Cup of Sailing series.
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