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International jury finds against Synergy in hearing at Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d’Azur

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20/11/2009 –

The jury finds there was hard contact and that Synergy did not keep clear as the right-of-way yacht

The International Jury for the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d’Azur has penalised Synergy Russia Sailing Team a half point for a collision with Emirates Team New Zealand at the finish of their second Semi Final race earlier today.

In the second race Emirates Team New Zealand had been penalised in the pre-start for gybing too close. The crew carried that penalty around the course. Approaching the finish, Team New Zealand was trying to either complete the 270-degree penalty turn or offset it with a penalty on Synergy when the pair wound up outside the committee boat end of the finish line.

Both crews had their genoas hoisted trying to get upwind and over the top of the committee boat, but Team New Zealand got close to the committee boat. The New Zealand crew tacked to port and hailed for water, calling the committee boat an obstruction.

Both boats were downspeed in the sloppy seaway and they collided, Synergy’s port side hitting Team New Zealand’s starboard side.

After the match the on-water umpires penalised Emirates Team New Zealand 1 point and Synergy a half point for the beam-on-beam collision that caused some damage to the 24-tonne yachts.

In a later protest hearing the International jury found that there was a hard collision between Team New Zealand and Synergy. The jury deemed that when Synergy, the starboard-tack yacht, became the right-of-way boat it altered course down towards Team New Zealand and didn’t do enough to keep clear.

“That change of course was an infringement of Rule 14 (Avoiding Contact), so we deducted a half point for that,” said Chief Umpire Bill Edgerton. “In the end we penalised Team new Zealand 1 point and Synergy a half point for the rule to make sure the crews don’t do massive damage. Then we deducted a second half point from Synergy for not doing everything to keep clear.”

Although the teams have each won a race in their match the score is now 0-0, setting up a one race, winner-take-all match tomorrow morning.

Racing is scheduled to resume tomorrow morning with a warning signal set for 0830 CET. The first race will be between TeamOrigin and Azzurra with the Emirates Team New Zealand-Synergy to follow.

Photo Credit: Franck Socha

– PR –

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