Ericsson Racing Team was informed last night at 6:30 pm, 20 hours before the start of the Volvo Ocean Race, that the International Jury will not reopen the case involving the keel fin of Ericsson 3.
This follows a request from the team to reopen the case due to significant errors during the hearing that followed the Rules Management Group (RMG) ruling on Sept. 23.The Organizing Authority (OA) then applied to the International Jury for permission to allow Ericsson 3 to participate in the Volvo Ocean Race by invoking Amendment 9 of the Notice of Race.
The Organizing Authority, the RMG, the International Jury, and ERT have all agreed that Ericsson 3 is a valid entry in the race and does not have any performance advantage. The International Jury ruled on 28th September that Ericsson 3 would be subject to a point score penalty for every in port race, every scoring gate and every offshore leg.
'We very much hoped that the International Jury would reopen the case. This could have allowed us to present our evidence and have a oral hearing, rather than one by e-mail,' said Richard Brisius, Managing Director, Ericsson Racing Team. 'This is obviously disappointing for Ericsson Racing Team, and in particular to the crew of Ericsson 3. We are now going to put this to one side and get on with racing.'
'We came here to race against the other teams, and with a 4-point penalty by the time we get to Cape Town, we're going to have to work even harder,' said Ericsson 3 skipper Anders Lewander. 'Despite this blow, we are looking forward to racing and competing on an equal level with the other teams in the race.'
Ericsson Racing Team has confirmed that they currently have a new keel in construction in Italy and the team are striving to ensure that this is ready in time for the departure from Cape Town to Cochin, India.
Last night's preliminary response email from the International Jury will be followed by a full decision in one to two days time.