Thursday, December 28, 2017

What is Given Can Be Taken Away

Updated below:
The aftermath of the big Race that I mentioned last.  It was record breaking - by some five hours or near about - but several boats came in within the old time. But the Winner, Wild Oats X1 held the cup for only a day. 

You recall the close encounter in Sydney Harbour that resulted in a red flag from Comanche? Well an International committee sat today in Hobart and decided that Wild Oats should be penalised for its poor sailing. 

Actually I think it was fine sailing but cut a tad too fine, but what do I know?  David Roberson knows though.
Sydney to Hobart: Comanche takes line honours after Wild Oats XI penalised
Comanche has won line honours in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race after Wild Oats XI was penalised by an hour for breaking race rules.
International jury chairman John Rountree said because of the breach of race rules, Wild Oats XI was penalised one hour.
Wild Oats XI was found to have breached the rules over a tacking manoeuvre at the start.
Comanche crossed the line in second place nearly 27 minutes after Wild Oats XI.
Mind you, it was touch and go as to which would get there first.

If you look very carefully ar 6.45 here you just might see my cave !!

Comanche skipper and owner Jim Cooney said the decision was "fair and reasonable".
"I'm thrilled to be installed as the line honours winner. It's something we've worked very hard for," he said.
"It's always a bit of a shame it may happen in these circumstances [but] ... the jury's decided very clearly that there was an infringement in the harbour that penalised us.
"And when things come down to the wire so closely like that I think it's only fair and reasonable that the jury acted the way they did."
The lengthy protest hearing on Thursday caused the race organisers to delay the announcement of the handicap overall winner.
It is expected that the overall winner will be announced on Friday.
Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards says the jury's decision is disappointing, disagrees the incident was unsafe

Comanche lodged the protest after the two yachts nearly collided when Wild Oats XI tacked near the start line, with Cooney claiming it tacked too late.
It is in the form of a tribunal that can call evidence from the skippers, tacticians, navigators and any others who the jury feels has information relevant to the complaint.
The jury can also view evidence such as television footage.
The allegation lodged with the jury was that Wild Oats XI was on a port tack, and Comanche was on a starboard tack, putting them on a collision course at the start of the race.
It alleged that Wild Oats did not complete its tack from port to starboard, failing to keep clear of Comanche, which was on a starboard tack.
The jury was told that under the rules Comanche had to avoid a collision and alter course before Wild Oats XI completed its tack, which was argued to be a breach.
So The committee imposed a penalty of one hour, and as Comanche was less than half an hour  behind across the line they have been awarded Line Honours this year, much to the chagrin on Wild Oat's crew.

But they are good sports: understood: and accepted with some dignity.

That is grown-up.

Let us raise a glass or three.

Update: Friday 29th
Not all the smaller boats are in yet (still some 50 out there somewhere: 4 retired from the 102 start line) but an overall Winner has been announced. Ichi Ban, an 'old sailor' in the Sydney to Hobart has won the handicap and the race.

Meanwhile an unholy row has broken out regarding the one hour penalty given to Wild Oats X1. Many in the game consider it far too severe and suggestions have been made that two 360 turns would have been more appropriate. They could have been achieved in less than the 27 minutes that seperated the two at the finish line and have Wild Oats X1 remain the winner.

It has made this record-breaking run rather controversial.

Further update.

The Line Honours.

The first boat in from the Port Philip mob was 'Fork in the Road', well ahead of its competirors. That passed by my cave just a few hours ago.



  1. Most interesting. Hadn't caught up with it and am in two minds. If Comanche had been naughty, w-e-e-e-l-l-l-l, this is yacht racing. But the penalty should have been applied there and then, not after it was over.

    1. Yes, a turn or something IF an infraction of the rules has been er.... infracted. But I am not au fait with sailor's rules. To me, the baddie boat didn't actually hit the goodie boat, who could easily have been a baddie boat hisself if the circumstance was slightly keel about bow. So no harm done. I might have made the captain drink a yard of ale and pay for a round.

  2. If there was a potential dispute due to the early race incident it would perhaps have been better not to award the cup until this had been looked into.

    1. The incident was so clear that a decision about it could have been made at the time. I would have thought.

  3. Just read now that Jimmy Spithill was onboard Comanche - that explains much. He's the litigious America's Cup skipper.

    1. There is a bilge full of money in this sort of ocean racing. Keels don't just swing, they are made of gold


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