The International Jury convened, Saturday, March 30th, in Miami, to hear the protest brought by the Volvo Ocean Race Committee against SEB for having caused serious damage to herself during a collision with illbruck on leg five.
1. SEB performed a 720-degree turns penalty in acknowledgement of breaking rule 10 and 14 on the first day of Leg 5 as a result of a collision between SEB on port tack and illbruck on starboard tack.
2. SEB continued racing and finished fourth in leg five, moving from last shortly after the collision with illbruck.
3. The collision caused damage to SEB. The damage to SEB’s hull falls into two categories. First, the sacrificial, non-structural foam collision bow and related skins were damaged. Second, a hole approximately 30 mm in diameter was made in the hull above the static water line.
4. Some water entered the bow through the hole.
5. The crew effected temporary repairs to the hole, preventing further infiltration of water. This repair took less than three hours.
6. SEB was able to continue racing with no significant impact upon her performance. The loads placed upon the boat caused no further damage.
7. There were no injuries to the crew on either illbruck or SEB.
8. Permanent repairs to SEB are estimated to take less than 40 man-hours.
The damage had no significant impact on SEB’s performance. SEB was able to continue racing safely. The cost of repairs is minimal in comparison with the total value of the boat.
The boats are designed and constructed to withstand damage far beyond what could be anticipated in close-to-shore racing. The design and construction of the boats must be considered when determining whether damage is “serious.”
The damage to SEB is not considered “serious.”
The protest is not upheld and SEB shall retain her 4th place finish in leg 5.
Stephen Tupper, Chairman, International Jury, Jury Members: Charles Cook USA, Barbara Farquhar USA, Bo Samuelsson SWE, Lorenz Walch GER.