Ichi Ban has won overall handicap honors at Sydney to Hobart for a record-setting third time after an international jury confirmed two protests against a rival yacht for not being contacted by radio for 90 minutes.
The Tattersall Cup was not decided until early Friday morning after a four-hour marathon hearing after which Celestial was penalized 40 minutes for the mishap, just before midnight on December 27, when a personal locator beacon illuminated. to one of the crew members. it was activated accidentally.
This prompted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Search and Rescue Authority to notify the race committee, which was unable to immediately contact the crew, and even sparked discussions about whether to launch a search and rescue aircraft from the airport. of Essendon.
The race committee also enlisted Ichi Ban’s help to ensure that all sailors were safe in Celestial.
Ichi Ban, the closest ship in the fleet to Celestial at the time of the incident, some seven or 10 nautical miles adrift, was also unable to contact its rival via repeated VHF calls.
This prompted the race committee to ask Ichi Ban to fire a white hand flare to attract the attention of the Celestial crew, which received no response, and then, shortly after, a red parachute flare.
Approximately 10 minutes later, Celestial contacted Ichi Ban using the navigator’s handheld radio on deck. He confirmed that the entire crew was safe and that the activation of the beacon was accidental.
But both Ichi Ban and the race committee protested the incident, which had the race committee and AMSA in regular discussions about emergency rescue measures.