Sailing: Jury threat to leader Dickson

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The Independent Online
CHRIS DICKSON, the race leader, is remaining calm about an official protest being made against him by the Whitbread Round the World Race committee here this week.

Photographs of his 60ft yacht, Tokio, taken while racing show that the radar scanner had been removed, breaking race rules. But Dickson will answer that water leaking into the equipment meant it had to be taken below and that he was not an seeking advantage by negating the slowing effect of 25lb mounted on a tubular bracket 10ft above the deck.

The international jury will consider the matter tomorrow and, if it upholds the complaint, could do anything from issuing a warning to, most unlikely, disqualification. A time penalty would be normal.

More ticklish will be the question of time compensation for Dickson's rival, Brad Butterworth, skipper of Winston, and Daniel Malle, skipper of the maxi La Poste, which finished at 8.30 GMT last night.

Both went to the aid of the Italian yacht, Brooksfield, when it activated its distress signal. Butterworth claimed he lost over 24 hours.

He will present a computer print- out detailing exactly the time to which he thinks he is entitled but adds that he does not want the time award to equate to a leg win. 'I am happy to live with my finishing position as fifth W60, but would like the full time adjustment,' he said.

Women's Challenge and the first Ukrainian yacht, Hetman Sahaidachny, are expected to arrive tomorrow. Brooksfield remains out of contact, but may arrive by Thursday. Britain's Dolphin & Youth, which pulled into the Kerguelen Islands, should be in by Friday.