Team New Zealand are appealing the decision by the international jury to dismiss a protest against Telefónica’s sails during the fourth leg of the round the world yacht race.

An international jury met in the latest stopover port of Itajai, Brazil overnight and decided the original rule was ambiguous and that Telefonica, the overall race leader, was reasonable in assuming they were in compliance.

However, Camper has applied to the jury seeking redress as it believes Telefonica gained an unfair advantage from carrying the extra sail on board for leg four where Telefonica finished less than two minutes ahead of Camper to claim third place.

The potential redress options available to the jury are open but would most likely include awarding of extra points and or placing Camper ahead of Telefonica on the leaderboard for the fourth leg.

Telefonica has a 20-point lead overall and is 28 points clear of Camper.

Camper skipper Nicholson said his team was disappointed the jury had dismissed the protest and that seeking redress was necessary to ensure a fair result.

"We were very disappointed and surprised that the jury took this action. It seems unfair to us that we lost leg four by under two minutes to a boat that was breaking the rules and carrying an extra sail than us. It’s the equivalent of a golfer carrying an extra club in their bag," Nicholson said.

"The reality is that Telefonica were given a flawed rule interpretation by the Organising Authority, that was not communicated to other teams as required by the rules and were therefore able to sail with an unfair advantage during the leg.

"This is no dark art. There is hard evidence that the type of extra sail that Telefonica carried would have given them a performance advantage. That performance advantage could very easily equate to the 1m 33s margin that Telefonica beat us by into Auckland.

"The system has broken down and we are left with no choice but to pursue redress. I think it’s clear and obvious what actions the jury needs to take to ensure a fair result in Leg 4.

"We have nothing to hide and will be putting our case robustly to the jury."

The international jury is due to hear Camper’s submission for redress tomorrow night (NZ time).

VOLVO OCEAN RACE

Points after 5 of 9 legs

Telefonica 147, Groupama 127, Camper 119, Puma 113, Abu Dhabi 55, Sanya 25

 
SOURCE: Stuff.co.nz
 
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