Please select your home edition
Edition
Insun - AC Program

Volvo Ocean Race- Protests fly at Leg 2, Stage 1 Finish

by Sail-World on 27 Dec 2011
Team Telefonica through the binoculars just behind Camper during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE. Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race©

Volvo Ocean Race have reported that both Team Telefónica and Camper have lodged protests against each other following the nail biting finish to Leg 2, Stage 1.

(Update: Both protests were subsequently dropped by mutual agreement.)

Camper skipper Chris Nicholson was the first to lodge a protest, which was related to a manoeuvre made within miles of the finish line, where Telefónica claimed victory by less than two minutes.

At 1730 UTC, before crossing the finish line, Camper skipper Chris Nicholson informed race management by email that they had raised their red protest flag over a move related to luffing rights. This is covered by Racing Rule 11, which requires a windward yacht to keep clear of the leeward yacht.

This rule in effect permits the tactic where a leeward yacht is allowed to luff, as much as head to wind, in order to prevent her being overtaken by a yacht who is to windward.


The usual obligation on the windward yacht is that she kept clear, which means that (a) there was no contact between the two yachts and (b) the leeward yacht did not have to initiate avoiding action to prevent a collision - which she is required to do under another Rule 14 when it clear that a give way yacht (in this case Telefonica) is not keeping clear.

Volvo Ocean Race reports that Chris Nicholson reported that at 1700 UTC when both the teams were on a port tack, with Telefónica to windward, Camper luffed and the Spanish team failed to respond, and Camper had to bear away to avoid a collision.


This would seem to imply that Camper had taken the luffing action to prevent her being overtaken by Telefonica, and that Telefonica had not responded. For a Rule 14 situation to come into play Camper would have to show that she had good reason to believe, or sometimes even an apprehension, that the windward boat was not keeping clear.

As a defence the windward yacht would have to show that she was well clear of the leeward yacht and in an extreme case would have kept clear even if the leeward yacht had shot head to wind and the windward yacht would still have been able to pass without making a course alteration. Anything less than this situation there are various grades of fault on both parties.

Luffing is really the only tactic allowed to a leeward who is in the lead, and wishes to protect that lead and not be rolled over by a windward yacht and have her (the leeward yacht's) wind taken and easily passed.


Three quarters of an hour later, at 1816 UTC , Volvo Ocean Race management reported that Telefónica skipper Iker Martínez had emailed race management and Camper to report his team’s protest, claiming unseamanlike conduct.

It is not known how this would apply, since the nearest applicable rule is Racing Rule 2 which requires a yacht race according to what is accepted as fair sailing, and is generally used only when no other applies. The only situations where this may apply is during night sailing, where they could show that Camper acted in a dangerous manner or some way not otherwise contemplated by the other racing rules.

Chris Nicholson on the finish of leg 2 by Emirates Team NZ

Photos taken after the finish clearly show the yachts in the dark, however whether it was night-time at the time of the incident will be determined by the International Jury.

After the conclusion of the race, Camper skipper, Chris Nicholson, despite being disappointed with the outcome, congratulated the Telefonica crew on a great race.

NaiadProtector - 660 x 82North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Ian Walker - Musto Ambassador on the Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup
Ian Walker on his Volvo Ocean Race win, why food and clothing are so important offshore, his views on the America's Cup We speak to Musto ambassador Ian Walker about his Volvo Ocean Race win, why food and clothing are so important offshore, his views on the America's Cup, his new desk job, sailing for fun, and 20 years of the John Merricks Sailing Trust.
Posted on 23 Jul
Black Jack Yachting. Bigger boat. Bigger team. Even bigger performance
Throughout the iterations of maxis called Black Jack, a strong, consistent and talented team has been their focus Throughout the iterations of maxis called Black Jack, a strong, consistent and talented team has been their focus. Some were sail makers, like Skipper Mark Bradford and also Vaughan Prentice from North Sails’ Brisbane loft. Others were riggers, such as Bruce Clarke, and there are even boat builders, like Gary van Lunteren, as well as Ash Deeks.
Posted on 20 Jul
A Q&A with Tom Trujillo about the Transpacific Race’s 49th running
Sail-World interviewed Tom Trujillo, the Transpac Race’s PRO, via email to learn more about this classic bluewater race. The Transpac Race (est 1906) is in a rarefied group of four races that are considered sailing’s greatest bluewater Corinthian challenges, and it welcomes a wildly diverse fleet of bluewater-worthy boats. The 49th running of this classic race is currently underway, so Sail-World caught up with Tom Trujillo, the race’s principal race officer, via email to learn more.
Posted on 7 Jul
Gladwell's Line - America's Cup returns to its new home and thinking
Emirates Team New Zealand's win in the 35th America's Cup ends 17-years of wandering in the AC wilderness Emirates Team New Zealand's win in the 35th America's Cup ends 17-years of wandering in the AC wilderness and will open a new era of America's Cup, New Zealand and World Sailing. A rookie crew won the most prestigious trophy in sailing, and one of the most difficult to win in any sport.
Posted on 29 Jun
SuperFoilers Are Go!
SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets SuperFoilers represent many things. Whilst those components are disparate and virtually from different planets in the great scheme of things, they come together in the one form as harmoniously as a Rolls Royce, and also deliver intense energy way past the sum of their parts, just like some amazing band.
Posted on 28 Jun
A Q&A with Kimball Livingston about San Francisco high school sailing
I emailed with my friend and colleague Kimball Livingtston to learn about San Francisco’s latest sailing revolution. I started hearing whispers of shifts in the San Francisco Bay high school sailing scene a couple of months ago. A few inquiries led me to my good friend and colleague Kimball Livingston, a world-class sailor, scribe, and StFYC staff commodore who isn’t one to keep his seaboots dry when the topic turns to opportunities for the next sailing generation. I caught up with KL via email to learn more.
Posted on 13 Jun
A Q&A with Andrew Howe about winning the 2015 Marion to Bermuda Race
I interviewed Andrew Howe, the 2015 Marion to Bermuda Race’s winning co-navigator, to learn more about their race. In 2015, skipper Greg Marston and the crew of Ti, a 1967 Alden Mistral, racing under celestial rules, were the overall winners of the Marion Bermuda Race Founders Division, beating boats that were enjoying GPS accuracy. On the eve of the 2017 edition of the race, I reached out to Andrew Howe, the team’s co-navigator, to gain perspective on this impressive win and hear about his 2017 plans.
Posted on 7 Jun
An interview with Allan McLean about the 2017 Marion to Bermuda Race
I interviewed Allan McLean, the Marion to Bermuda Race’s executive director, to learn more about this biennial event. The 2017 Marion to Bermuda Race is set to kick off on Friday, June 9, so I caught up with Allan McLean, the race’s executive director, via email to learn more about the race’s history and evolution, its challenges, and the special America’s Cup experience that awaits Marion to Bermuda sailors upon reaching the Onion Patch.
Posted on 5 Jun
An interview with Ray Redniss about the STC’s annual Block Island Race
I caught up with Ray Redniss, the Block Island Race’s longtime PRO, via email to learn more about this classic event. I caught up with Ray Redniss, who has served as the PRO for the Block Island Race and the Vineyard Race (September 1, 2017) for the past twenty-plus years, via email to learn more about the state of this classic, early season New England event.
Posted on 22 May
An Q&A with Jeremy Pochman about 11th Hour Racing’s impressive efforts
I interviewed Jeremy Pochman of 11th Hour Racing to learn more about this forward-thinking environmental non-profit. 11th Hour Racing is doing some of the most forward-leaning environmental work in the entire marine sphere, and I wanted to learn more, so I reached out to Jeremy Pochman, 11th Hour Racing’s Strategic Director and Co-founder, to ask a few questions. All sailors are strongly encouraged to give this interview the time it deserves.
Posted on 15 May