In strong wind conditions 30 nautical miles off Tasmania’s east coast this afternoon, rigging damage forced the crew aboard the Tasmanian 11-metre yacht Dump Truck (the Ker 11.3 formerly sailed as Tow Truck) to retire from the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and to run for shelter between Schouten Island and Freycinet Peninsula.
Skipper Justin Wells notified race officials at approximately 1430hours AEDT that they had damaged their D2 fitting, where the shroud or side stay attaches to one of the mast’s horizontal spreaders. Potentially it threatens the stability of the mast.
They immediately reduced sail and are now motoring to Schouten Passage, where they’re expected to arrive at about 2100hours to reassess their situation.
A message from on board said they were all safe, but shattered.
The winds have been blowing at more than 25 knots off the north-east coast and are expected to reach near gale force further south in Storm Bay and around Tasman Island tonight before easing.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a strong wind warning for Storm Bay, with gusts of more than 35 knots expected.
Sailors have reported winds of more than 45 knots today. Rain squalls have reduced visibility to less than 100 metres at times.
So far 14 boats have finished the race. There have been five retirements; 57 yachts are at sea.
Corporate Initiatives - Retired - steering problem
Dump Truck - Retired - rig damage
Living Doll - Retired - Broken rudder
Primitive Cool - Retired - damaged main
TSA Management - Retired - Broken rudder
by Danielle McKay
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8:56 AM Sat 29 Dec 2012GMT
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2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
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