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PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race
The International Jury has dismissed the protest of Groupama sailing team against CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand.

"We totally accept that people can question -- that's everyone's right -- but it's time now for the questioning to stop" - Chris Nicholson

Groupama lodged the protest, once again related to the forestay and rigging set-up on CAMPER, at the end of Leg 1.

The International Jury decided after a full hearing on Friday that CAMPER were in possession of a valid Volvo Open 70 certificate and that no evidence had been presented to show they had broken any rules.

"No evidence was presented to show that equipment had been used while racing in a manner that broke the class rules," the jury found.

CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson, who attended the hearing in person, said it was now time to put the matter to rest.

"I certainly hope that's the end of it," he said. "For us, a lot of things that were brought up in the hearing were old history. Very little was new and I think we've exhausted this as far as it can possibly be exhausted. The decision was obviously in our favour and it's time now to lock in and go racing.

"We've had this on our boat from day one and on public display. We could have hidden it right up to the start of the race but it wasn't how we decided to do it. We decided to be completely open and jump through every hoop from day one.

"We totally accept that people can question -- that's everyone's right -- but it's time now for the questioning to stop."

Groupama had already had one protest over the CAMPER forestay rejected. That was made back in Alicante after the first In-Port Race on October 29.

CAMPER's forestay was also the subject of an application made to the independent arbitration panel earlier in October.

Two applications were made claiming the Volvo Open 70 Interpretation Group had, in interpreting a class rule, changed that rule, something not permitted in the class rules and in the Notice of Race.

The first application was made by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG on October 11. The second was made by Team Telefónica the following day.

CAMPER finished Leg 1 in second place and are second overall with 29 points, two behind Team Telefónica. Groupama were third into Cape Town and are third overall with 22 points.



  • It seems that Groupama has taken a flier again, sailing way far from the rest of the fleet, so in Abu Dabi, it will be again Camper's forestay at fault for this.....! Some times the "pomme de terres" are more stuborn than even the Irish....

  • A discussion ceases to be worthwhile when its repeated over and over again with the same result - that is pointless and is a waste of time. Brains should be well exercised and the limits of technical regulations thoroughly explored but it's not necessary, smart or clever - or sportsmanlike - to keep going back again and again to revisit the same issues. Chris Nicholson was right to say that it's time now for the questioning to stop. Let's hope it does.

  • What wasting time? Maybe the yelling from the sidelines is wasting time? Protesting is discussion on what should be allowed. Just because this forestay discussion ended up in favor of Camper does not mean that is wasn't a worthwhile discussion. No need for macho sideline cheering just because a verdict ended a certain way. This is about the brain as much as about the muscle.

  • Must be a remarkable forestay, causing such agony! Please show photos of Campers compared to the others, and comment the Groupama/Internationel jury arguments. Tobe

  • Good! It should be no surprise that if you keep asking the same question then you'll get the same answer. Lets hope that Groupama, and anyone else who fancies another whinge, stop wasting everyones time and stick with the sailing from now on.


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PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Pro-Am Race in Cape Town, South Africa.