SPORT - Hull & Humber admits missing a mark shortly after start in the Humber

SPORT - Hull & Humber admits missing a mark shortly after start in the Humber

All 10 yachts of the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race are now berthed in La Rochelle where the crews have taken advantage of the sunshine that has broken through to get on with the business of deep cleaning, debrief meetings and the general maintenance that is part of any challenging ocean race.

Talk on the pontoons has been about one subject — the Race Committee's decision to protest two of the yachts, Hull & Humber and Cork, for contravening the sailing instructions — and what that might mean to the points each team will win for Race 1.

Hull & Humber entered the TSS and, in their race declaration, admitted to missing a mark in the Humber at the start of the race. Ordinarily, any team that passed to the wrong side of a course marker would turn around and pass it on the correct side to exonerate themselves and avoid any penalty, including possible disqualification.

The Race Committee has been collecting data from all 10 yachts and analysing the evidence today to assess any advantage gained by the two yachts and a ruling on the penalty is possible tomorrow (Friday).

All 10 yachts finished within 5 hours and 41 minutes of each other, so any penalty could have a large impact on the team standings once the confirmed results for Race 1 have been published.

The order of finishing and provisional results are as follows:
1 Team Finland
2 Cork
3 Hull & Humber
4 Spirit of Australia
5 Cape Breton Island
6 Jamaica Lightning Bolt
7 Uniquely Singapore
8 Edinburgh Inspiring Capital
9 Qingdao
10 California

The skippers are all philosophical about this first race, claiming it as a settling in period for which they and their crews had set conservative goals.

Back on Sunday, Edinburgh Inspiring Capital was first across the start line in the Humber at the beginning of the 35,000nm race. Skipper, Matt Pike said: "Our goal was to finish mid-fleet on this race. We just need a bigger fleet."

Compared to the massive spectacle of the race start on the Humber, the stopover in La Rochelle will be a much quieter affair, giving the crews time to settle into life on board and reflect on the challenge ahead.

The sight of the 10 yachts moored in the Bassin des Chalutiers, in the heart of the old town, is a popular one for the local Rochelais out for a stroll in the late evening sunshine.

Delegations from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, and Cork, Ireland, will be hosting media and tourism promotion events during the stopover before Race 2 to Rio de Janeiro gets underway on Tuesday. September 22.