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1 November 2001, 11:25 am
Two Protests Against illbruck
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illbruck Challenge

Volvo Ocean Race

Both Assa Abloy and the race committee have protested leg 1 winner illbruck over different issues.
On October 29, ASSA ABLOY lodged a protest against leg 1 winner illbruck over a breach of the race rules. On the protest form, ASSA ABLOY states, that "Access to a site containing extensive meteorological information can only be obtained by adding the suffix '/rsm' to the illbruck Challenge nominated site 'http://atmosfera.lma.fi.upm.es'. The required suffix is not publicly known and it is not mentioned on the Website nor was it published in the Leg 1 Sailing Instructions, Annex C. Therefore, the site was not publicly available nor known to all other boats, so use of it infringes RRS 41 (as it falls outside the exemption of NOR (Notice Of Race) 7.4.3); and NOR 7.4.4."

Under the new rules introduced for the Volvo Ocean Race each team is allowed to list 10 web sites they want to view during each leg, and can access each other's nominated list. Navigators pick sites where they can download information they require for a leg. Met offices from different countries provide different forecasts and it is possible to obtain all manner of other meteorological information from currents to icebergs to different types of satellite weather images. Prior to the start of each leg these lists are compiled and published as part of the leg sailing instructions. For the public, interested in the Volvo Ocean Race and the background facts, all nominated sites were published on the website www.volvooceanrace.org .

The hearing is provisionally scheduled for 1000 local time (0800GMT) on Friday, 2nd of November at Race Headquarters, Cape Town.

On Tuesday, October 30, another protest was launched against the German entry illbruck, this time by the race committee on a technical issue. James Dadd, V.O.60 class measurer reported to the race committee, "It has come to my attention, that illbruck challenge have carried out modifications to their Volvo Penta supplied S-Drive. A weed-cutting device has been attached to the leading edge over the full exposed length of the S-Drive, and filler compound has been added and faired between the blade edge and the S-Drive body. Additionally the oil drain located at the lower end of the S-Drive has been filled and faired to create a single surface area on the S-Drive."

Volvo Ocean 60 Rule 5.4.2 states, "Only modifications to specified machinery approved by the chief measurer are permitted. The chief measurer may only approve modification in exceptional circumstances. Modification, which result in lighter specified machinery, will not be approved. All items supplied by Volvo Penta, including engine beds and auxiliary equipment are governed by this rule."

"The above modifications have not been approved by the chief measurer and as such the illbruck challenge no longer complies with the Volvo Ocean 60 Rule."


In the meantime, chief measurer, John Warren issued the following interpretation in response to the question:

"Would the addition of a weed cutter to the leading edge of the Volvo Penta S-Drive [the mechanism holding the propeller that is mounted under the body of the yacht] be considered as modification of specified machinery as in rule 5.4.2? He answered, that the addition of a week cutting device, attached to the leading edge of the S-Drive alters the profile of the drive and is a modifications. It is considered that there are no exceptional circumstances and the modification is not approved. The addition of a weed cutter attached to the hull and separate from the S-drive leg would not be contrary to the V.O.60 Rule."

He also stated, that any addition of fairing compound to alter the standard shape of the Volvo Penta S-Drive is also a modification for which there are no exceptional circumstances for approval.

The protest hearing is schedule at 1500 local time (1300 GMT) on Friday, 2nd of November 2001.
Volvo Ocean Race Press/News Editor
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