On the first night of racing during leg five of the Volvo Ocean Race from Rio de Janeiro to Miami, a collision occurred between SEB, skippered by Swede, Gunnar Krantz, and illbruck, skippered by American John Kostecki.
The protest form reads: "Standard Sailing Instruction 1.6.1 requires the Race Committee to protest SEB for having caused serious damage to herself during a collision with illbruck, for which she acknowledged her breach of RRS 10 (racing rules of sailing) and took the required penalty at the time of the incident.
"The loss of non-structural skins and damage to the underlying foam forward of the collision bulkhead on SEB does not, in our opinion, constitute 'serious' damage. However, other damage to SEB, specifically the partial crushing of the forward collision bulkhead and the associated damage to the hull immediately aft of that bulkhead, has compromised the watertight integrity of the hull in an area frequently immersed during sailing. In the opinion of the Race Committee, this constitutes 'serious damage'. The Race Committee does not consider the damage sustained by illbruck during the collision to be 'serious damage'. "
The protest will be heard as soon as possible.
SEB finished fourth in leg five and now stands in seventh place on the overall scoreboard. Illbruck finished in second place on this leg and retains her commanding lead overall with a total of 26 points, eight points ahead of second placed Assa Abloy who won leg five.