After five hours of testimony and deliberations, the international jury at the IMS 50 World Championship has decided that the offshore race be finished at Cabrera Island, the mark before the planned finish line.
The ruling came about after four boats protested the position of the finish line off Palma early this morning. The four boats - Fernando Leon's CAM, King Harald V of Norway's Fram XV, Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino XI, and Roberto Bermudez's Caixa Galicia - filed protests alleging that the committee boat was out of position and late to station.
The international jury agreed that the boat was late to station and 0.7 miles out of position. The four boats had to drop their spinnakers and raise headsails to beat to the finish line, a move that Caixa Galicia said took as long as 13 minutes. The jury also found that two other boats may have been directly affected and that all boats in the fleet were affected to some extent.
"All boats were considered to be affected by this because it was impossible to tell how far the boats sailed past the real and supposed finish line, and which boats hardened up and reached to the finish," said Italy's Bruno Finzi, who is on the international jury.
"The only way to resolve it was to count the rounding at Cabrera Island as the finish. We think this is fair," Finzi said, adding that a committee boat recorded each boat's time as they passed the lighthouse off the island approximately 18 miles from the finish.
At least one boat didn't agree. Onorato's Mascalzone Latino XI filed a protest for redress after the decision was announced claiming it was materially prejudiced by the jury's decision. "They think they gained positions between Cabrera and the finish," said Finzi.
Mascalzone Latino's protest states, "The result in Cabrera did not represent the real finishes." It also says that, under the sailing instructions, the offshore race is not allowed to be shortened. Finzi said the protest would be heard tomorrow morning at 10:00 am.
The jury's decision resulted in CAM winning the offshore race, which totaled approximately 69 miles at Cabrera Island. CAM defeated Brava Q8 by 2 seconds on corrected time, although it passed the lighthouse 6 minutes and 5 seconds ahead of its rival. King Harald V's Fram XV placed third, 3 minutes and 10 seconds behind the leader.
The results give CAM a scoreline of 4-1-2-1 and the low score of 8.18 points after four of the nine scheduled races. Brava Q8 is second with 11.43 points on finishes of 3-5-1-2, and Fram XV is third with 14.75 points after finishing 2-4-4-3. The two parts of the offshore race each carried a multiplier of 1.25 points. Mascalzone Latino lies fourth with 20.75 points and Caixa Galicia is fifth with 21.75 points.
The world championship is the final regatta of the five that comprise the IMS 50 Championship for 2001. Caixa Galicia leads the season with 10 points. CAM is second, 13 points behind, and Brava Q8 lies third with 25 points.
At the conclusion of the regatta each boat will be allowed to discard its worst finish. With discards factored in, Caixa Galicia leads with 5 points, CAM is second with 9 points and Brava Q8 is third with 11 points.
Racing resumes tomorrow with two windward/leewards scheduled on the Bay of Palma. Preliminary weather forecasts are calling for strong winds up to 30 knots from the north. The nine-race series runs through Sunday.
Provisional Results, after 4 of 9 Scheduled Races:
1. CAM (Farr 51) Fernando Leon 4-1-2-1-8.18 pts
2. Brava Q8 (Farr 49) Pasquale Landolfi 3-5-1-2-11.43 pts
3. Fram XV (Farr 51) H.M. King Harald V of Norway 2-4-4-3-14.75 pts
4. Mascalzone Latino (Farr 51) Vincenzo Onorato 9-3-3-4-20.75 pts
5. Caixa Galicia (B&C 51) Roberto Bermudez 1-6-7-5-21.75 pts
6. Tau Ceramica (Farr 49) Javier Dominguez Banderas 5-9-5-6-27.75 pts
7. Rubin XV (J/V 49) Hans Otto Schumann 6-8-8-7-32.75 pts
8. Krazy K-Yote Two (Kouyoumdijan 51) Ortwin Kandler 7-2-10-10-34.00 pts
9. Castellon Costa Azahar (J/V 51) Santi Lopez Vazquez 8-7-12-9-41.25 pts
10. Azur de Puig (Farr 49) Marta Mas Borrell 10-10-9-8-41.25 pts
11. Sirius V (Farr 50) S.A.R. Felipe de Borbon 11-11-6-12-44.50 pts
12. Exposure (J/V 50) Niek Lamm 12-12-11-11-51.50 pts