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Lightening the load?

by Guy Nowell 4 Apr 2019 23:15 PDT
Gear, including pipe cots, left behind during the first leg of the Round Hainan Race 2019. Were they on the Certificate? Yes © CBI

A few days ago Sail-World Asia published a story about the recent Round Hainan Race, which has proved to be highly inaccurate. We apologise for not checking more closely, but when World Sailing is the source you tend to go with the numbers. Won't make that mistake again. According to the WS press release, the race “was 1,040 nautical miles in total.” A quick visit to Google Earth indicates that Haikou to Sanya (leg 1) and then Sanya to Haikou (leg 2) involves about 430nm of sailing, so the inshore races must have been very long indeed!

In some bars the Round Hainan Race has acquired a less than enviable reputation for sharp practice among the participants. We know people who have sworn to “never go there again,” and heard numerous stories of engines being turned on during the night. Nothing provable, but not hard to work out.

And this year we have received from a friend a photo of a lot of gear that appears to have been removed from a boat for the Haikou-Sanya leg of the race. Our reporter advised the Jury, and check with the IRC Measurer in Hong Kong to confirm that the last time the boat was measured, pipe cots were “in”. All the Jury (Chairperson, Ana Maria Sanchez del Campo Ferrer, World Sailing Council, WS Executive Committee, WS Women's Forum) had to do was spot-check the boat when it arrived in Sanya, and cross-check with the certificate. This didn’t happen, and right now the Jury is not answering the phone.

Silence may be golden, but it is also self-damning. When someone reports a suspected breach of the rules to an International Jury, the very least they (the Jury) can do is to respond. If nothing else, it is politeness. Failing to respond means that they are either just plain rude, or else avoiding something. Or both.

Standing by on 72.

Guy Nowell, Asia Editor.

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