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11/17 - 13h47

24 Hr Time Penalty for Bestaven

On Sunday 16th November  Yannick Bestaven (LE CONSERVATEUR), currently in fourth place in the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe was given a time penalty of 24 hours by the International Jury. This penalty was the consequence of a collision with Phillippa Hutton Squire (Swish) that occurred on the first night of the race. The time will be added to his race time when he completes the race.

It was during the first night of racing at around two in the morning on Monday 3rd November in a 35-knot SSW'ly wind and heavy seas (4 to 5 metre waves), that the collision occurred. Suffering from a broken staysail lashing (an element which keeps the headsail up), the skipper from la Rochelle had to change course in order to carry out manoeuvres on the foredeck. Sailing upwind to make his way out of the Channel, he was forced to bear away to take the wind away from his headsail as it was impossible to furl or bring down in such rough conditions. So, for quite some time, Yannick sailed downwind on the port tack going in the opposite direction to his normal course.

It was during this tricky manoeuvre that there was a collision with the Class40 Swish skippered by the South African sailor, Phillippa Hutton Squire, who was sailing upwind on the port tack.

Following on from this incident, the International Jury, which was informed much later of the facts and the seriousness of the damage, listened to what the two parties had to say. The Jury gave its decision on Sunday 16th November. Taking into account the serious damage - Phillippa Hutton Squire was forced to retire after serious damage to her rig - the Jury decided, rather than disqualifying him, to give him a time penalty of 24 hours. As this is such a long penalty, the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe Race Directors have decided to apply this penalty by adding on 24 hours to Yannick Bestaven's race time once he finishes in Pointe-à-Pitre.

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