E4 has been absolved from any wrongdoing in the case brought forward by the Rule Management Group
Ericsson 4 will not be penalised under the protest filed by the Rule Management Group (RMG) against the team. The International Jury found the team was not obliged to inform the Measurers of changes made to the bow of its boat, and therefore the team had not broken a rule.
The RMG of the Volvo Ocean Race submitted a report to the International Jury. The submission concerned the bow of Ericsson 4, the current leader of the Volvo Ocean Race. Read previous story here .
During the hearing, skipper Torben Grael said the team “regretted” the lack of communication to the Rule Management Group about this change. He also made an emotional appeal about the pressure he was under due to this protest. But he insisted his team was not obliged under the Class Rule to communicate this to the Measurers.
The International Jury agreed. In it’s ruling, the Jury found: “the Rule Management Group’s assertion was limited to:
“(a) a claim that Ericsson 4 was required to inform the Race Management Group of the changed bow section,
(b) the rule breached was Volvo Open 70 Rule (Version 2) 3.1 and no other rule,
(c) acceptance by the Rule Management Group that the new bow section was the same as the replaced section, and that the position of the measurement reference point was not an issue.
On that basis, the Jury finds there was no obligation for Ericsson 4 to inform the Rule Management Group of the change.
The protest is therefore dismissed.
The jury endorses Ericsson 4’s opinion that it is normal practice for teams to inform the Rule Management Group of any such changes. Not to do so risks breaching other rules.
During the hearing, the Race Management Group chose not to proceed with the other aspects of the written protest.”