Despite arriving in Newport Rhode Island for the start of Around Alone 2002 after the deadline required by the organisers, and failing to complete correct qualification, Graham Dalton and his boat Hexagon are being allowed to start on September 15th
In a statement released today, race chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston stated that,
"In consideration of the request to have "extenuating circumstances" considered as a result of Hexagon's dismasting on her initial attempt at a Trans-Atlantic qualification voyage and the wind conditions in the North Atlantic, the Race Committee has decided to impose the following penalty and allow Hexagon to compete in the Around Alone Race:
Six (6) hours per 24 hours or part thereof pro-rated from 1200 DST on 1st September 2002 until arrival at her Newport berth. The qualification voyage must be completed with all the other requirements of Rule 7.1 and 7.2 of the Notice of Race.
This penalty will be in addition to the late arrival penalty as per rule 7.2 of the Notice of Race."
This time penalty will be added to Daltons time for leg one of the race, starting on 15th September from New York, to Torbay, on the South Coast of the UK.
There are 14 competitors in the event in two classes; the Open 50 and Open 60. On starting from New York on 15th September, each boat will aim to complete the five legs of the race route, and to finish at Newport Rhode Island next April. Taking in the five ports of Torbay, Cape Town, Tauranga (NZL), Salvador (BRA) and Newport, the race is thought of to be one of the most arduous and physically demanding feats of human endurance.