Thursday, October 02, 2008

Penalty imposed on Ericsson 3

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International Jury Decision on Ericsson 3's keel

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] Ericsson 3 was today handed a scoring penalty by the International Jury for failure to comply with the Volvo Open 70 measurement rule relating to their keel.

The decision was taken after the race Organising Authority applied to the Jury for dispensation to allow Ericsson 3 to race without having been issued a measurement certificate.

Anders Lewander and his crew will be eligible to compete without that certificate but the penalty will be a one point deduction for each in-port race day, one point for each scoring waypoint and two points for each offshore leg.

The penalty will apply as long as Ericsson 3 continues to use their existing non-compliant keel. Ericsson 3’s score shall not be less than 0 points in each instance.

At issue are several cavities in the keel, which have been filled with steel rods in an effort to comply with the measurement definition of ‘solid’. Despite attempting to completely fill the cavities with a series of steel rods, some voids remain.

The total weight this represents is 0.625 kilograms. The measurers have proposed that Ericsson 3 be fitted with an equivalent corrector weight to ensure that no advantage is gained.

Reading from the written Jury decision, Bryan Willis, Chairman of the International Jury, said: “At a meeting on 28th April, ERT proposed a solution involving freezing sections of steel rod the same diameter as the bored holes and inserting them into the cavities.

“…(But) the freezing process was not used; instead, without prior approval of the RMG, rods with diameters lesser than that the voids were inserted and welded in place. The Chief Measurer observed the modification process and advised ERT representatives that the keel was still not solid and therefore in his opinion did not comply with the Rule.

“In the latter part of August 2008, ERT accepted that it would not be possible to carry out a procedure which would completely fill the holes and satisfy the requirement of the rule.

“The Jury is satisfied that, for a period of time, it was not unreasonable for ERT to hold the opinion that it might be possible to completely fill the holes and thereby become compliant.

“However, not having received approval from the RMG for any practical procedure, there became a time at which the idea of filling the holes should have been abandoned and a new keel built.

“The Jury is of the opinion that as a general principle, it is important that all yachts in a race hold a valid Measurement Certificate. This creates a ‘level playing field’ which is of fundamental importance to the sport.”

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At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trick, trick and Trick. This boat would be disqualified and end.

And the designer, JK, would be penalized harshly. He is a crooked

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find all this very fishy. 625 grams cannot make a difference of importance to justify meassurers from pestering Ericsson for months on end. I do not believe JK would have stood so firm on such a stupid issue. I believe RMG are trying to pull out elegantly from a scandalous behaviour on their part.

At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comes down to the 625 grams left from a 162 kg (!!) rules violation. Harsh, maybe. But the blame is with those who chose to flaunt the rules from the beginning

At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most boats in the VOR are not totally regular. Some of these irregularities can be seen with a bare eye yet they are getting certified. To certify keels you would need special x-ray equipment and I haven’t seen RMG, or anybody else for this matter, making use of such technology. So how does everybody, including RMG, know which keel is legal and which is not. As far as I am concerned there could be many more unruly keels around this fleet without any of us having a chance of ever knowing unless we make use of the appropriate equipment. So all this controversy against JK seems to me very obscure and so are some commentaries in this blogg.
Pushing the bars of the rule as high as possible is not cheating but good professionalism much to the dismay of all the mediocrity standing around.

At 2:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you mention an international jury? Have you ever heard of an international jury made of one person only? Have you ever imagined a jury being able to conclude a case by taking into account the arguments of only one of the plaintiffs and ignoring totally the other? Would you trust such a jury behaving with such partiality? Certainly not.
An international jury will at least be made of three renown and weighted members of different nationalities (this is the meaning of international) who will hear and judge the cases of the two plaintiffs and ask all the questions and require all the information needed in order for them to jointly conclude to a verdict resolving the conflict brought to them.
This was not the case. ISAF should urgently take serious account of the major international importance of VOR and name an appropriate jury if it doesn’t want to loose face and authority among the sailing community.


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