how quickly they forget…

The mainstream media coverage of Celestial’s overall win in the Sydney-Hobart race has characterized the result as “redemption” for owner Sam Haynes and the moment when he “avenged” his demotion from first place to runner-up in last year’s race.

Without exception, that downgrade in 2021 is ascribed to the effect of a time penalty being applied after a protest. That’s just plain wrong.

The actual order of events was that the International Jury first considered an application for redress from Ichi Ban for the time they’d spent trying to establish VHF contact with Celestial after a request for assistance from the Race Committee. 

The jury awarded Ichi Ban just three minutes of redress, but that was enough to make their corrected time slightly shorter than Celestial’s. That, in turn, made Ichi Ban the overall winner.

The protest (which was brought by the Race Committee, not Ichi Ban as is commonly thought) was heard after that redress hearing. 

Celestial was found to have not complied with the rule requiring it to monitor the VHF safety frequency and an appropriate penalty was imposed by the jury. But that had little impact on the final results. The redress decision had already demoted Celestial to second place.

Those are the facts. The protest did not cost Haynes the win in 2021. So there was nobody to “avenge” this year, and nothing to “redeem”. 

 – anarchist David