by Lucy Harwood
Volvo Ocean Race team Groupama lodged a protest against Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand, at the end of leg one, alleging that several aspects of Camper’s forestay and rigging set-up over leg one were illegal. Camper has welcomed the decision by the Volvo Ocean Race International Jury to dismiss the protest claiming that Camper’s forestay set-up breached the Volvo Open 70 rules.
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Pro-Am Race in Cape Town, South Africa.
Skipper Chris Nicholson says that it’s a common sense outcome and brings an end to the matter.
'This issue over the last 18 months has been looked at by the Rules Interpretation Group, the Arbitration Panel and the International Jury twice. In all cases it has been cleared and ruled as legal. We have always been open and above board about our forestay set-up. It is frustrating that despite this it has repeatedly been called into question at a considerable cost in time and effort to us.
'The simple fact is that nothing has changed in our forestay set-up since the International Jury ruled it legal in Alicante last month, and yet once again we have been dragged through the process of a jury hearing. It is pleasing nonetheless to see final confirmation that our forestay system abides with Volvo rules.
'It’s now time to close the case on this issue and focus on what we’re here to do – yacht racing. I just hope that all teams can now move on and that this draws a line under the issue.
'We’ve always known that our forestay set-up is innovative but that doesn’t mean it’s illegal. This whole process has made us stronger as a team and we have been confident since day one that Camper fully complied with the Volvo Open 70 rule book.'
Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand website