Sailing: Severe penalty for Toshiba

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The Independent Online
IN A punishment of unusual severity, Dennis Conner's yacht Toshiba was docked all of the 65 points it earned in the fifth leg of the Whitbread Race yesterday.

An international jury, chaired by Peter Siemsen, in Sao Sebastiao, Brazil, upheld a protest lodged by the race organisers for failing to report the use of the engine to clear weed from the propeller.

The move pushes Toshiba down to seventh place overall, promoting Knut Frostad's Innovation Kvaerner to sixth. "We are all very disappointed at the jury's ruling," said Paul Standbridge, skipper of the yacht. "Their decision is harsh."

After 33 days and 11 hours at sea, EF Education retired from the fifth leg yesterday after being dogged by bad luck, having lost most of their rig on 7 February. Nine days later, the jury rig also failed, and after several days of being becalmed, the all female crew decided unanimously to retire.