Wednesday 29 December 2021 – 2200 hours
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), the organising authority for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, has advised that two protests have been lodged against the yacht Celestial and will be heard before an International Jury in the Boardroom at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and via Zoom at 4:00pm Thursday 30 December 2021.
The protests are:
- Ichi Ban AUS 001 v Celestial 9535 (including Request for Redress)
- Race Committee v Celestial 9535
Both protests refer to Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Sailing Instructions 31.4 which states: ‘All boats shall maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF Channel 16 for the duration of their race.’
The protest form posted at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania states:
1153 27 Dec 21 – 0130 28 Dec 21
(90-minute period when CELESTIAL was not able to be contacted via VHF CH16)
Protest by the RSHYR Committee that SI 31.4 “all boats shall maintain a continuous listening watch on CH16 for the duration of the race” was not complied with.
Despite numerous attempts to contact Celestial over a 90-minute period, via numerous means, when attention was ultimately alerted via flares, which fortunately confirmed that the AMSA alerted PLB activation was false, after 90 minutes AMSA was to deploy a Melbourne based SAR asset to the position of Celestial.
Of particular concern was the lack of response on CH16 (VHF) by Celestial throughout the incident.
It is expected that this incident will be fully highlighted and explained by Celestial in her Race Declaration, noting any notables and /or extraordinary reasons as to why SI 31.4 was not complied with.
The RSHYR Committee, through Hobart race control, will provide a full timeline and all appropriate evidence and transcripts.