A protest lodged in opposition to Sydney to Hobart line honours winner Wild Oats XI will go earlier than a five-person worldwide jury on Saturday.
Runner-up Black Jack has claimed the Automated Identification System (AIS) on nine-time winner Wild Oats XI was not switched on throughout the race, giving the yacht an unfair benefit.
The occasion’s race committee late on Friday evening lodged a protest in opposition to the supermaxi, with a listening to to be held by the Cruising Yacht Membership of Australia (CYCA) from 1pm in Hobart.
The race committee stated it obtained a report from Black Jack saying the AIS had not transmitted “all through the race”.
“The race committee took an inside evaluate into the knowledge supplied and from different sources and determined there was a case to reply,” CYCA Commodore Paul Billingham stated.
Wild Oats XI gained by simply 28 minutes forward of Black Jack on Friday morning in one of many closest finishes within the race’s historical past.
Wild Oats XI may very well be hit by a time penalty and even disqualification if the protest is upheld however little shall be recognized till the jury makes their choice.
“It’s arduous to know. I wouldn’t wish to speculate and even say if there may be guilt on this,” Billingham stated.
Sydney to Hobart race guidelines require the AIS transponder to be on and able to transmitting.
“(AIS) was launched this yr as a compulsory requirement to enhance the protection of the race,” Billingham stated. “It’s a navigation and security instrument, it’s not a racing device as such.”
After arriving in Hobart, Black Jack skipper Peter Harburg stated Wild Oats XI’s AIS was not on, that means they couldn’t detect the place the opposition boat was crusing.
“We didn’t know the place they have been they usually knew the place we have been on a regular basis, in order that has deprived us,” he informed the ABC.
Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards, who will possible entrance the jury, has dismissed the controversy as a storm in a teacup.
Wild Oats XI gained in a time of sooner or later, 19 hours, 7 minutes and 21 seconds, with Richards labelling the win “redemption”.
It’s the second time in two years a protest has been lodged in opposition to Wild Oats XI.
The yacht was additionally first previous the submit in 2017 however misplaced line honours to Comanche, who completed third this yr, after copping a time penalty for an infringement firstly of the race.
On this yr’s handicap class, Tasmanian-owned Alive is main the pack though that will change with the vast majority of the fleet but to complete.