Please select your home edition
Edition
Coast Guard Foundation LEADERBOARD 2

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Celestial has fate determined by International Jury

by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 30 Dec 2021 12:08 PST 31 December 2021
Sam Haynes' TP 52 Celestial © Bow Caddy Media

A Request for Redress by Ichi Ban and the Race Committee Protest against Celestial, was held at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania Thursday evening.

Date of incident: 27-0130 28 December, 2021

Ichi Ban v Celestial

Facts found:

1. Ichi Ban was beyond hailing distance at the time of the incident and notified Celestial of their intention to protest at the dock immediately after clearing biosecurity.
2. Ichi Ban displayed a red flag promptly after the incident and continued to display the flag until she finished.

Conclusion: Ichi Ban notified Celestial at the first reasonable opportunity. All other requirements for a valid protest were satisfied.
Decision: Protest is valid.

Race Committee v Celestial

Facts found: The Race Committee informed Celestial of its intention to protest after Celestial finished the race following discussions with Celestial's skipper.

Conclusion: The Race Committee informed Celestial in accordance with 61.1(b). All other requirements for a valid protest were satisfied.
Decision: Protest is valid.

Procedural matters: Case No. 1 was heard together with Case No. 2 in accordance with RRS 63.2 since both hearings arose from the same incident.

Facts found:

1. The wind was at 7-15 knots.

2. At 23.53 on 27 December 2021, the Race Committee received a telephone call from Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Search and Rescue notifying the Race Committee that a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) assigned to Wulf Wilkens, a crew member on Celestial, was activated.

3. At 23.56, the Race Committee commenced attempting to contact Celestial on the satellite phone listed in their Sat Phone Declaration and received a "call could not be connected" error. The Race Committee continued to attempt to contact Celestial by Satellite Phone during the incident.

4. At approximately 23.58 the Race Committee contacted Ichi Ban by satellite phone because they were the nearest boat and within 7 to 10 nm from Celestial. The Race Committee requested Ichi Ban contact Celestial on VHF 16 to clarify whether all were safe on board.

5. Ichi Ban commenced calling Celestial on VHF 16 at 23.58 and received no response, approximately every 2 minutes for 7 minutes.

6. From 0007, Ichi Ban continued to attempt to contact Celestial at least every 5 minutes on VHF 16 as requested by the Race Committee.

7. The Race Committee was in frequent contact with AMSA throughout the incident in relation to the decision whether to deploy search and rescue aircraft from Essendon Airport, Victoria.

8. Quest, who heard Ichi Ban's VHF radio call to Celestial, also attempted to contact Celestial on VHF 16 but no response was received.

9. At 0057, following the Race Committee advising AMSA and in agreement with the Race Committee, Ichi Ban released a handheld white flare to attract Celestial's attention, but did not receive a response.

10. At approximately 0120, following permission from AMSA and approval by the Race Committee, Ichi Ban released a red parachute flare in an attempt to attract Celestial's attention.

11. At approximately 0130 Celestial contacted Ichi Ban on VHF 16 using the navigator's handheld VHF radio on deck. Ichi Ban informed Celestial that the reason for the red flare was to attract Celestial's attention at the request of the Race Committee due to the activated PLB.

12. Celestial confirmed the PLB activation was accidental, and all crew were safe.

13. Celestial deactivated the PLB.

14. At 0139 Celestial sent a text message to the Race Committee through their satellite phone to confirm the PLB activation was accidental, and all crew were safe. An attempted satellite call failed.

15. The Race Committee informed AMSA, enabling the search and rescue aircraft on standby to be stood down.

16. Celestial's installed VHF radio was located on the port bulkhead near the mast, with a repeated to the navigation station. The radio was new in 2021.

17. On the morning of the race start, the navigator tested the installed VHF radio and found it to be working satisfactorily.

18. At all times during the incident, the VHF radio was turned on as indicated by power light and backlight illuminating channel 16 with volume turned up at the navigation station.

19. Two additional handheld VHF radios were on board Celestial but not turned on during the incident until Celestial sighted the red flare. The navigator's handheld radio was then turned on and used to contact Ichi Ban.

20. During the incident, Celestial's crew were fatigued.

21. The Celestial navigator was seated at the navigation station for approximately 97% of the race time.

22. During the incident, Celestial's engine and water maker were both turned on, which created significant noise below deck.

23. Celestial did not hear any attempts to contact her on VHF during the incident.

24. At other times in the race, Celestial heard Ichi Ban and other marine traffic using her installed VHF radio.

25. The distance between Ichi Ban and Celestial did not significantly change throughout the incident duration.

26. Twelve other PLBs were accidentally activated during the race, and in each case the boat responded to the Race Committee within 25 minutes (average response time is 15 minutes).

27. At all times Ichi Ban continued to race the boat and did not alter course as a result of the incident, however Ichi Ban did prepare and deploy two flares which temporarily affected her performance.

Conclusions

Protests v Celestial

1. For the purpose of SI 31.4, the International Jury interpret "listening" to be the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process.

2. Celestial was able to communicate by handheld VHF radio with Ichi Ban once the red flare was sighted and was therefore within VHF range of Ichi Ban during the incident.

3. Either the equipment or procedures on board Celestial resulted in her failing to maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF 16 as required by SI 31.4.

Ichi Ban Redress:

4. At the time of deploying the flares, it was reasonable for Ichi Ban to assume that Celestial needed help.

5. It is possible that Ichi Ban's finishing position in the race was made significantly worse through no fault of her own by giving help in compliance with RRS 1.1 to someone else than herself or her crew.

Rules that apply: SI 21.1, SI 31.4; RRS 1.1, 61.1, 62.1(c), 63.2; and World Sailing case 20.

Decisions

Protests v Celestial:

1. A Discretionary Penalty of 40 minutes in lieu of disqualification is to be added to Celestial's elapsed time as authorised by SI 21.1.

2. In determining the penalty, the following matters were considered:

a. The specific penalties for other rule breaches within the RSHYR Sailing Instructions;

b. The World Sailing Discretionary Penalty Guide (which is, however, designed for use in a multi race event);

c. The appropriate penalty for a breach of a rule with potentially serious safety consequences;

d. The mitigating factor that the breach was accidental; and

e. The aggravating factor that the breach inconvenienced AMSA, the Race Committee and other competitors.

Ichi Ban Redress:

3. Redress is given to Ichi Ban. Ichi Ban's elapsed time is to be adjusted by deducting 3 minutes.

International Jury: David Tillett (AUS), Rosemary Collins (AUS), John Doerr (GBR) Russell Green (NZ), Philippe Mazard (FRA) Jamie Sutherland (NZ).

Date and Time Decision Advised: 00.50, 31 December, 2021

Related Articles

Mark Bradford on Grand Prix Sails
Black Jack's skipper explains some of the how and why of effective downwind sail combinations For many on the sailing scene who haven't raced on a grand prix offshore yacht, the types and configurations of sails set forward of the mast – particularly for downwind sailing – are something of a mystery. Posted on 8 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: A full examination
The 76th edition delivered on the event's formidable reputation Without doubt, the 76th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race delivered on the event's formidable reputation. It was a race of two decidedly different halves. The first was a punishing test of physical endurance and perseverance. Posted on 2 Jan
Decision of International Jury on protest hearing
Ichi Ban remains the overall winner of the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race The Request to Reopen hearings in relation to protests by Ichi Ban versus Celestial and the Race Committee versus Celestial, was considered by the International Jury for the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania today. Posted on 1 Jan
Sydney Hobart – Double Up to Double Down
He's been with us the whole way, and given a special insight into the new Two-Handed division. He's been with us the whole way, and given a special insight into the new Two-Handed division of the Hobart. Posted on 1 Jan
Sydney Hobart Day 7 Race Wrap
The biggest buzz on the dock has been on the pier where all the Two-Handers and final finishers are Without doubt the biggest buzz on the dock in the 2021 race has been on the pier where all the Two Handers and final finishers are berthed Posted on 1 Jan
Video - Azzurro after the Sydney Hobart race
The irrepressible Shane Kearns arrived in Hobart yesterday afternoon aboard the S&S 34 The irrepressible Shane Kearns and his redoubtable crew aboard the S&S 34 White Bay 6 Azzurro arrived in Hobart yesterday afternoon Posted on 1 Jan
Video - Speedwell after the Sydney Hobart race
Wendy Tuck and Campbell Geeves arrived in Hobart yesterday afternoon aboard Colin's Speedwell Wendy Tuck and Campbell Geeves arrived in Hobart yesterday afternoon aboard Colin Geeves' Beneteau 34.7 Speedwell. Posted on 1 Jan
Solveig brings 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart to a close
The famous 71-year-old Halvorsen 36 crosses the finish line Solveig, the famous 71-year-old Halvorsen 36, designed, built and raced by the equally famous seafaring Halvorsen brothers in the early years, crossed the finish line of the RSHYR at 08:42.11am this morning to bring the CYCA's 2021 race to an end. Posted on 1 Jan
Disko Trooper goes from contender to the real deal
Doublehanded stars in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race In August 2020, Jules Hall started floating the idea of entering the Rolex Sydney Hobart's inaugural Two-Handed Division with his sailing mate, Jan 'Clogs' Scholten. Posted on 31 Dec 2021
Video - Disko Trooper after the Sydney Hobart race
It was an impressive win on IRC, ORCi and PHS in the inaugural two-handed division of the Hobart It was an impressive win on IRC, ORCi and PHS in the inaugural two-handed division for the RSHYR in 2021 for Jules Hall and Jan Scholten who related some of the challenges and rewards of their race Posted on 31 Dec 2021
Sea Sure 2020 - FOOTERRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERVaikobi 2021 Boots - FOOTER