Photo: Francois van Malleghem/DPPI/Vendee Globe

Marc Guillemot fined £9,000

French skipper penalised for traffic separation scheme infringement

Thursday December 6th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

The British court has issued its verdict regarding Marc Guillemot’s infringement of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) rules that occurred during his Round Britain and Ireland record attempt in June. The court ruled that the skipper of the IMOCA 60 Safran will have to pay a fine of £9 000.

The incident occurred on 7 June as Safran was passing through the Strait of Dover. During this time Safran twice contravened the rules of the TSS, which require yachts to cross the lanes strictly at a 90deg angle to the oncoming maritime traffic.

On 12 July, Guillemot attended a meeting following a summons from the Maritime Coastguard Agency to find out exactly what he was being accused of and immediately accepted their version of events.

In early September, he was summoned to a hearing, which was due to take place in Southampton on 2 October at the Magistrates Court.

The sailor, who was busy preparing for the Vendée Globe offered his excuses and was represented by his lawyer, whom he instructed to plead guilty.

The judge was not willing to excuse Guillemot’s non-attendance and issued a warrant against the skipper. The validity of the warrant issued by the judge was contested by Guillemot at the High Court, which led to it being cancelled, and his summons to appear was postponed until after the Vendée Globe. He was therefore able to start the Vendee Globe on 10 November as planned.

Following his retirement from the singlehanded round the world race after Safran's titanium keel broke off on the first night, Guillemot made himself immediately available to the British authorities and was summoned to a hearing today at the Magistrate's Court in Southampton, which he attended accompanied by his legal advisors.

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