Saturday, 10 January 2009

Vendée Globe: Redress for Vincent Riou

Vincent Riou on board PRB. Image copyright Vincent Curutchet/DPPI/Vendée Globe.

by Véronique Teurlay

Following a request from the Vendée Globe Race Directors, Vincent Riou changed course and, as laid down in rule 1.1 of the Race Rules ( «A boat or competitor shall give all possible help to any person or vessel»), helped Jean Le Cam.

After sustaining damage to his rigging during Jean Le Cam's rescue operation Vincent Riou informed the Chairman of the International Jury, Bernard Bonneau, in writing that he was requesting redress.

Riou considered that he could in no way be held responsible for the damage that occurred to his monohull, PRB during Le Cam's rescue. He added that «This damage requires a lot of work that cannot be carried out alone at sea.»

After PRB was completely dismasted on 7th January 2009 after the temporary repair they had made failed, Riou confirmed to the Jury in writing that he was still seeking that redress be awarded.

The skipper of PRB stated that these recent “events were directly linked to and indeed caused by the rescue operation” and noted that it was now entirely impossible for him to "continue the race back the finishing port of Les Sables d’Olonne."

Within a reasonable time frame it would be impossible for Riou to find a replacement mast nor could one be sourced and delivered within reasonable time period.

Consequently, Riou has therefore requested that his boat continues to be scored, as is regularly the case in international racing, when a skipper falls victim to damage and/or is materially prejudiced by something beyond his or her control.

As chief representative of the International Jury, Bernard Bonneau has indicated that this subsequent incident in no way affects the jury's decision to agree to listen to this case and meanwhile has asked the race directors to indicate that PRB and her skipper are RDG (Redress Granted).

In simple terms this means that, in theory, Redress is Granted, but that the precise details have not yet been considered.

Until the decision of the jury is known PRB will remain ranked in the official race standings.

PRB, Riou and Le Cam still in Puerto Williams

Vincent Riou and Jean Le Cam are still in Puerto Williams. They spent the day yesterday with the Chilean customs officials sorting out the administrative details, which were complicated by the fact that Jean Le Cam did not have any papers on him. He is due to recover his passport later today, which will mean they will be able to leave the Chilean zone. Riou's goal is to have PRB towed to Ushuaia, some twenty miles along the coast in Argentina. It is unlikely that the tow can get underway today, but will probably take place this weekend or early next week depending on the weather conditions. Riou and his shore team are attempting to find a solution to transport the boat back from Ushuaia by cargo ship.

Vendée Globe

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