The actions of ParalympicsGB team bosun, Simon Hiscocks, himself a double Olympic medallist, in failing to obey a member of the race committee, resulted in the Sonar team receiving a 30 per cent discretionary penalty - 4 points - which dropped them from a Bronze position to fifth.
With the cancellation of the final races due to lack of wind on Thursday, this lost a certain Bronze medal for Britain's Sonar crew of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas.
Stephen Park, Paralympics GB Sailing team leader: "It was therefore extremely unfortunate that, due to a minor off-the-water incident not involving the sailors themselves, the GB Sonar crew found themselves handed a discretionary penalty by the International Jury of four points added to their score overnight, which has affected the overall positions going into the final race"
"The team bosun, Simon Hiscocks, himself a double Olympic medallist, was authorised to lift the GB Sonar out of the water to inspect and repair some minor damage following racing on Tuesday. Towards the end of the repair, the measurer requested for the bosun not to clean the port side of the keel. The bosun believed this to be a requirement of the job he had been authorised by the measurer to perform, and continued, prompting the measurer to file a report to the International Jury."
Simon Hiscocks, the GB team bosun: "I fully regret that my actions have led to this situation and apologise again to the Measurer for any perceived disrespect shown while I was completing the repair on the Sonar. I believe the task I was undertaking was part of the authorised repair, but clearly misunderstood the instructions of the Measurer and in hindsight appreciate that my actions were inappropriate and deeply regret the impact it has had thus far on the Sonar crew."
GBR asked for the measurer's permission to haul the Sonar to effect repairs to perceived damage to the bottom of the keel. GBR complied with the instructions at the time of haul-out as the measurer inspected the keel. The measurer provided consent for GBR to effect repairs to the bottom of the keel, as well as to three marks on the starboard side. The crew was present for the inspection and instructed their bosun to make the repairs. Once the bosun completed the repairs he began to wipe the whole keel including the port side.
The measurer made 3 requests for the bosun to stop wiping the keel, but he kept wiping. After second request to stop, the measurer explained that he might have to make a report if he did not stop. The bosun replied, "go ahead and make your report" and continued wiping. After the third request, the bosun explaining that he had to do his job and he continued wiping until he finished the job. The measurer's opinion is that there was no performance advantage gained by wiping the keel.
GBR complied with the application procedure to effect the repair under EIR 3. GBR did not effect repairs beyond those permitted by the measurer under EIR 3.3. The bosun failed to comply with the reasonable request by the measurer to stop wiping other areas of the keel, in breach of SI 3. The breach was deliberate. Mitigating circumstances are that GBR does not dispute any aspect of the measurer's report, and acknowledges that the bosun made an error of judgement.
Rule(s) applicable: SI 3, EIR 3.1, RRS 64,1(d)
The jury's discretionary scoring penalty to GBR is 30% of boats, i.e. 4 points in race 7, the race closest in time to the incident
6 September 2012 14:35