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Whitbread Race: Leg 4, Sydney to Auckland----------------------------- red rule ------------------------------ Protest Against Cayard, EF Language Dismissed By International Jury

EF Language EF Language near Auckland
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Jan. 13, 1998) — The protest lodged by Toshiba against EF Language — billed as "Conner vs. Cayard" — was dismissed after an international jury ruled the protest invalid. It was the first protest filed in the 1997-98 Whitbread Round the World Race for the Volvo Trophy.

Even if the protest — filed Toshiba skipper Dennis Conner — had been valid, it would have been overturned, said EF Language skipper Paul Cayard, calling the protest "ridiculous."

EF Language was accused of not displaying its navigation lights when sailing near the coastline of New Zealand's North Island. "I am two miles behind Toshiba, one mile behind Chessie [Racing], three miles behind Merit [Cup] and we are on a coastline fetching. Why would anybody purposely turn off their nav lights there?" Cayard told yachting journalist Stuart Alexander. The article was published Jan. 13 in the official Whitbread Web site.

The protest was ruled invalid because Toshiba had not taken reasonable steps to advise EF Language of the intention to protest. Toshiba finished second in Leg 4, EF Language was fourth.

Leg 5, from Auckland around Cape Horn to San Sebastiao, Brazil, begins on Feb. 1. (Jan. 31, in the U.S.) and is expected to be completed about three and a half weeks later, around Feb. 24.

Read the "Cayard Lashes Back" article.

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