And then there were only two!
From the VOR 2008-2009 website: Wednesday 7 January, 2009 11:00 GMT
Telefonica Blue has withdrawn its protest against Ericsson 3, with agreement from the International Jury.
Jury Chairman Bryan Willis received a letter from Richard Slater of Telefonica Blue requesting the International Jury allow the protest to be withdrawn and following discussions, allowed the Spanish team to drop the matter.
"We lodged the protest because Ericsson 3 fouled us but we withdrew it because it could effectively mean losing a point against Ericsson 4," said Telefonica Blue skipper Bouwe Bekking.
"There was a chance that Ericsson 3 could be disqualified which would just bring the other Ericsson boat up but we want to win this race. "The guys on Ericsson 3 got the message and are very happy so that's enough for me. There are so many protests going on in this race but I would like to win this race without any protests so when we hold the trophy we can say we did it just by plain sailing."
The protest was one of three due to be heard on Thursday January 8th. Ericsson 3 will still face the Jury to answer a protest from the Race Committee regarding whether the team obeyed all the waypoints in sailing the course for leg three.
In the afternoon, Ericsson 4 will answer charges brought by the Rule Management Group (the measurers) regarding a replacement 'false bow' that was fitted before the start.
Sometimes I get sick and tired of sailors stating that they want to win a race 'out on the water'. As if protests are not part of racing - something to be avoided at all costs and somehow spoiling the game.
One of the first things someone reads in a rulebook is the basic principle: "Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce". I can perfectly understand that Telefonica wants to withdraw this protest to protect it's position against Ericsson 4. Tactically a sound decision.
But don't "cloud" the issue by using the "I don't want to go to the room" argument. Then they are actually saying: "We don't want to follow the rules".