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Yann Guichard six months suspended ~ Volvo Ocean Race in Lorient June 16.2015

A hearing in the Lorient Criminal Court has heard the Prosecution call for a six month suspended sentence against Yann Guichard (FRA) after an accident on June 16, 2015 at the restart of the Volvo Ocean Race in Lorient.

Guichard, one of the world’s most experienced multihull sailors was skipper of Spindrift 2, formerly Banque Populaire V, and at 131ft or 40 metres is the world’s largest racing multihull.

The incident occurred after a near miss between the multihull and an official boat for the race. A person onboard the RIB had her leg badly cut after her leg was struck by the tip of a rudder of the giant trimaran as it flew over the RIB in the avoiding manoevre. The woman subsequently had her left amputated.

Six months suspended sentence sought against top multihull sailor

Yann Guichard and Spindrift 2

ActuNautique.com reports that Yann Guichard was prosecuted for ‘unintentional injuries, with more than three months incapacity’ , compounded by ‘a manifestly deliberate breach of an obligation of safety and prudence’ and for ‘endangering life others ‘ .

At the end of deposition hearing, the prosecution asked for a minimum sentence of 6 months suspended sentence against the skipper of multihull racing, along with a fine of 20 000 euros and publication the conviction in the press.

Six months suspended sentence sought against top multihull sailor

Moment of impact – Spindrift and a marshall boat – start of the Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 9 @ AFP

ActuNautique.com report that the Court discussions were highly technical yesterday, based on the trajectories of the boats, the exclusion zones, why Yann Guichard preferred to gybe rather than tack, but also the speed of the boat despite the presence of many boats on the water.

Guichard’s defense lawyers called for the acquittal of their client on the grounds that not everything had been done to ensure the safety of the water.

The judgment was reserved.

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL

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