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.
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.