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Rolex Sydney - Hobart

YuuZoo’s Rolex Sydney Hobart woes

Ludde Ingvall : "I couldn’t see things getting much worse"

lundi 27 décembre 2010Redaction SSS [Source RP]

After losing two men overboard within five hours of the Rolex Sydney Hobart start yesterday afternoon, YuuZoo skipper Ludde Ingvall didn’t think things could get much worse.

But just hours later, with the two crew safe and warm onboard, his race south looked almost over.

Around 2.00am this morning more than 10,000 litres of water was fast filling his 90-footer, threatening to short-circuit the engine and cut power to the electronics.

Watch systems were thrown into chaos as a crew of four was left on deck to handle the maxi as the remaining 16 attempted to stop Bass Strait gushing though a hole left by a missing speed log.

YuuZoo’s 14 knot pace was halved as she lost her grip on the front runners Wild Oats XI, Wild Thing and Investec Loyal.

Worse still, Ingvall’s misfortune continued when not just one of his electrical water pumps broke, but the second went kaput too.

A “chain-gang” of crew armed with buckets and hand-pumps were put to work in the hot and confined space, brewing several seasick bellies.

“Water was lapping over the bulkhead and working its way through the whole bow-section…for a while I thought we had some serious breakage,’’ he said.

Young Lisa Chamberlain, contesting her first Rolex Sydney Hobart, was the one who found where the water was gushing in.

With the log back in place and water almost bailed, an exhausted Ingvall said “I couldn’t see things getting much worse” as he approached galeforce winds in Bass Strait just before midday today.

“It’s a lot more fun to race when the weather is good and you can actually focus on racing rather than survival,’’ he admitted late this afternoon.

Ingvall said he had never experienced a race where so much had gone so wrong in such little time.

His problems started at 5.30pm yesterday afternoon as the crew prepared for the first southerly front by reducing sail area.

A gust caught them unaware and as a quick thinking Ingvall threw the helm in a bid to take the power from the huge sail, Greg Homan and Will Mueller were thrown into the water.

“The two guys were basically hanging on to the sail as it was taken away from the boat, as it was flapping they both landed in the water,’’ said Ingvall.

“We had multiple issues, we had a sail that was half way down and was stuck and we had to get them down and we had two guys we had to keep an eye on in the water.’’

Fortunately an expert man overboard drill saw the two brought back aboard within ten to 15 minutes.

“Fortunately everyone did what they were supposed to,” said Ingvall.

This afternoon YuuZoo is back at almost peak pace, maintaining 11 knots of boat speed as she heads into Bass Strait in seventh position in the fleet.

- Press info

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