The final conclusion to my 2014 Route du Rhum race was played out over the weekend when the international jury heard my protest against the boat that was involved in the collision with me during the first night of the race, 142 La Conservateur. In the collision spreaders were pulled sideways through the mast creating a crack 3/4 of the way around the circumference of the mast, even though I managed to get boat back to Roscoff in Northern France without the mast falling down there saving further damage to the boat or my new sails! However the mast did break in half later when it was removed from the boat.
There is never a happy conclusion for all parties when the incident is decided by a protest committee. Initially I was hesitant to protest Yannick as although I felt sure he was in the wrong, I knew how hard it is to get to the start of races like this. After a long debate I filed a protest against Yannick for the collision. On Saturday the 15th the Jury claimed the protest invalid. Then the Jury filed a protest against Yannick on 142 and me on 52. On Saturday evening we had a conference call to hear the protest. The Juries conclusion is that Yannick has a time penalty of 24 hours once he has finished the race.
I am very happy that Yannick is still racing and doing so well. He is currently in 4th place with only 770nm to go to the finish in Guadeloupe. I hope that maybe we will be at the start and finish of 2018.
Now I will put the disappointment of my 2014 RDR that only lasted for 12 hours behind me. On the plus side I have learnt so much during the build up of this campaign and had fantastic group of people helping me, I know it will be a struggle again to raise money but the RDR is a fantastic race. I now plan to be on the start line of 2018 RDR but more importantly to be at the Finish!!! – Phillippa Hutton-Squire.