The Ericsson Team looks like it's about to be called into the headmaster's office


First came the news that the Nordic team aboard Ericsson 3 would have to attend two protests later this week.

The first was for an alleged port and starboard incident with Telefonica Blue. The second, from the race committee who believe that Lewander’s team, ‘did not round the Sri Lanka 1 mark on the southern side as required in Leg Addendum 3,’ the first of two marks that defined an exclusion zone to the south of Sri Lanka. The fleet was required to stay to the south of a line defined by the two points.

Then came the news that Ericsson 4 was in trouble over the measurement of its boat which, according to the chief measurer James Dadd, is longer than when it was when it was first measured.

Yesterday (Jan 4) saw a protest filed by the Rule Management Group against Ericsson 4 and a document filed in which the RMG outlined the reasons for the protest.

The submission reads:

On the 3rd January 2009 the Chief Measurer noted a section of the bow of a boat in Ericsson Racing Team (ERT) colours behind the ERT containers. On enquiry, members of ERT informed the Chief Measurer that this section of hull was the bow section of ‘Ericsson 4’ which had been installed on the boat when it was presented for original hull measurement at the builders in Sweden on 11 June 2008. Following damage to this portion of the hull prior to the Assembly Period in Alicante, this entire section was removed and replaced with a new bow section.

The Rule Management Group were not informed that changes had been made to the hull that could affect the Measurement Ashore data that was derived from the original hull measurement.

As a result of removal of the original bow section and its replacement with a new component, original hull measurements have been invalidated.

The submission then goes on to describe how the measurement reference screw, which was inserted into the original hull section had been removed and fitted to the new bow without re-measurement taking place. The result of which means that a number of key dimensions, including length overall, mast position, bowsprit length and more are now no longer known. The document continues by stating that Ericsson 4, ‘has not to this date held any valid Volvo Open 70 Certificate.’

A second document from the RMG states that the measurement screw, ‘was found to be 2mm lower on the hull than the RPF measurement screw which was inserted at the time of the original Measurement Ashore of the boat with the original bow section.’

The result of which, according to the RMG document, makes the boat 2mm over length.

So, with three protests against the team and the in port race looming, (Saturday), this week could turn out busier than many had expected.

To read the document in full