Route du Rhum: World Sailing declares itself incompetent due to the conformity of the Gabart trimaran

A new item has appeared in the folder. of the dispute between François Gabart and the Ultim class in terms of the conformity of its trimaran SVR-Lazartigue to compete in the Rum Route (from November 6). In an email to the skipper’s team, World Sailing (the World Sailing Federation) “confirm” it is not intended to determine the conformity of the trimaran. “I confirm that the interpretation (from the rule issued by World Sailing) it does not concern the SVR-Lazartigue trimaran and does not purport to rule on compliance with the rules by this vessel. This interpretation is a clarification of the rule and has rule value. Determination of compliance with the rules remains the responsibility of the competent authority of each event. »

The court also confirms: “That the National Federations and the race organizers can modify the RSO (special offshore rules). »

The Ultim class did not issue the essential certificate to take the start

“This email just confirms what we’ve been saying for a few days, but it’s nice to have a factual element,” Francois Gabart believes. Concretely, what does this mean? “That World Sailing has not provided a response on the conformity of our ship and does not have the competence to do so. The Federations, the organizers, the classes are themselves capable and competent to apply the rules and judge conformity. »

For better understanding, it should be remembered that the Ultim class considers that the Frenchman’s boat does not comply with a rule (3.11, sheet winches) and therefore has not issued him the essential measurement certificate to be able to start the Route. du Rhum, next November 6 from Saint-Malo to Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe).

The Ultim class had disputed providing inaccurate plans to World Sailing

By the end of 2021, the Ultim class had appointed three independent experts, chosen unilaterally, to rule on the trimaran’s conformity. Whose compliance had been validated, an opinion confirmed by the class monitoring committee and a representative of the Sailing Federation. Insufficient for the Ultim class who then turned to World Sailing, providing inaccurate plans. What during a press conference on Monday (in which The team was not invited), Patricia Brochard, president of the Ultim class, had answered.

“If very quickly, things get blocked, we will have no choice but to look for other referees and I’m sorry, enter the legal field”

However, on Tuesday, the VPLP architecture studio, which designed SVR-Lazartigue He assured on Twitter: “The diagram describing the trimaran submitted to World Sailing is not a VPLP plan and does not represent the trimaran as we designed it. The annotations that appear there are subjective and commit only their author. »

Indeed, what will Gabart and his team do? “For me, the ball is in the court of the Ultime class, the Federation and OC Sport (Organizer of the Rum Route) », replies the 39-year-old sailor. “We are at your disposal to complete the information if necessary, which we have been doing for months. On the other hand, if very quickly, things get blocked, we will have no choice but to find other referees and, sorry, enter the legal field. But I hope that the sport wins, that things are done fairly and impartially. » The registration deadline for the Route du Rhum is set for this Thursday, March 31. François Gabart assures “be registered”. It remains to find a way out of this matter.

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