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Mayday call leads to crew rescue in Auckland Tauranga race

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.Com on 10 Apr 2009
Catabatic soon after the start of the 2007 HSBC Coastal Classic © Richard Gladwell www.richardgladwell.com

Three crew were rescued from the 9.8 metre catamaran Catabatic, in the Auckland Tauranga race, yesterday afternoon.

Designed by Roger Freckington the multihull issued a mayday call at around 1500hrs on Thursday afternoon in the vicinity of Channel island at the end of the outer Hauraki Gulf, Auckland.

There were several race yachts in the sixty strong fleet in the area at the time, and two of these, Aretheusa (Ross Currie) and Sniper (Gary Smith) suspended racing and responded the call for assistance.

The incident occurred during a 50kt squall which struck the fleet unexpectedly and caught many of the competitors unawares, however the Catabatic capsize was the most serious incident.

Her three man crew set off an EPIRB and were rescued, sitting on the bottom of the upturned multihull.

The crew were later transferred to a Coastguard vessel and taken to Whitianga, one is reported to have a shoulder injury.

Winds eased soon after the squall to a more routine 15kts and the first yacht an 8.5metre multihull finished at 8.15pm last night ahead of several 50ft monohulls.
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