Bernard Stamm’s Cheminées Poujoulat is disqualified for receiving outside assistance in Vendee Globe race
An international jury has disqualified Swiss Vendee Globe sailor Bernard Stamm following the skipper’s pit stop on 23rd December south of Enderby Island (Auckland Islands, NZ) to repair his hydrogenerators. The Race Committee lodged a protest against Cheminées Poujoulat for receiving assistance.
Stamm had experienced problems with his generators since shortly after the start of the race and had decided that with insufficient power to run his autopilots he would need to make repairs before the long leg down to Cape Horn.
But anchoring in the shelter of the Auckland Islands proved to be tricky and Stamm was forced to use his engine, a move that was sanctioned by the race committee after Stamm had informed them of his intention. But his anchor started to drag and Cheminées Poujoulat drifted towards a Russian scientific ship that was also anchored in the bay.
It was Stamm’s actions from here that resulted in his disqualification.
Here’s the official description:
On 22 12, Bernard Stamm decides to change course toward the Auckland Islands in order to repair the hydro generators.
Until 23 12 at 04h00, Bernard Stamm sails by his own means to Sandy Bay, prepared to anchor.
At 04h53, Bernard Stamm anchors in the bay after having unsealed the engine and the heavy anchor.
At 20h00, Bernard Stamm notices the presence of a Russian scientific ship Professeur Khoromov moored close to his position. Then, within half an hour, Bernard Stamm notices his boat is drifting.
Seeing the boat is drifting toward the ship, Bernard Stamm calls her by VHF. During the chat with the crew, they propose to moor his boat to the ship.
Considering this is an emergency situation, Bernard Stamm decides to use the ship as a mooring and informs the crew of his decision by VHF.
Then Bernard Stamm prepares the boat to move, sets the sails and turns on all devices. Coming back in the cockpit, Bernard Stamm notices that a person from the ship is on board his boat and has begun to recover the anchor.
Bernard Stamm starts the engine and turns on the auto helm, then goes to the bow to recover the anchor.
Bernard Stamm decides not to ask this person to leave the boat “when I saw him on board I did not find any reason that could justify to send him back from the board”.
Bernard Stamm comes back to the engine controls and at the helm and the person at the bow throws the line on the Russian boat to make it fast. Immediately afterwards, the person leaves Cheminées Poujoulat and returns to his RIB.
Once the boat has been correctly moored behind the Professeur Khoromov, Bernard Stamm goes to say hello to the two people in the RIB, and then they offer help. At this time, Bernard Stamm explains clearly the situation, that he is racing, that he is not entitled to any help.
Bernard Stamm considers that this was a case of absolute necessity for which it was needed to act in order to secure the boat and to prevent creating a problem for the ship moored nearby.
Mooring to another boat is a breach of the first sentence of NOR 3.2.
By not asking the person on his boat to leave when he discovered him, Bernard Stamm broke the second sentence of NOR 3.2.
The mooring of Cheminées Poujoulat to the Professeur Khoromov was made with the help of the person on board and the crew of the Professeur Khoromov. This is a breach to the second sentence of NOR 3.2.
Even though not requested, the assistance received from the crew member by Cheminées Poujoulat to secure the Cheminées Poujoulat and to prevent creating problem for the Professeur Khoromov constitutes a breach to NOR 3.2, and the material contact with another boat by mooring to her constitutes a breach to NOR 3.2 and to the principle of NOR 3.
Cheminées Poujoulat is DSQ from the Vendée Globe under NOR 3.2, fourth sentence and SI 11.2
Date 01 01 2013 at 18h00
The International Jury
Bernard Bonneau (FRA); Ana Sanchez (ESP); Trevor Lewis (GBR); Jack Lloyd (NZL); Georges Priol (FRA)