Drama this evening in the 64th Rolex Sydney to Hobart race when Victorian yacht, Georgia, the New Zealand built Farr 52 belonging to two Sydney to Hobart veterans John Williams and Graeme Ainley who between them have sailed 49 Hobart races, this evening issued a May Day at 21:25 local time, when the vessel was around 34 miles east of Ulladulla.
Georgia reported she had broken her rudder stock and was taking water, she was about to lose her electrics, she sent up a red flare and activated her 406 Epirb.
Leo Rodriguez’ Volvo 60 Telecoinabox Merit, was just a mile away and she went to the aid of the stricken vessel along with Chris Welsh’s US flier Ragtime, which at the time was four miles away.
At 22:25 Georgia deployed a life raft to affect a crew transfer to Merit.
Traffic between the radio relay vessel JBW and Merit included a request for the Georgia crew to take their EPIRB aboard Merit.
22:41 Merit informed JBW that she now has seven Georgia crew aboard, the raft was returning for the last seven crew.
22:53 All Georgia crew aboard Merit, along with life raft and Epirb.
Their position was around 34 miles east south east of Ulladulla. Merit informed JBW that Georgia was floating with water to deck level, with mainsail still up.
A Water Police vessel was on way to the scene to take the Georgia crew off Merit.
10:55 Ragtime was advised she could continue racing.
10:56 Fleet was notified that all boats could continue racing.
11:01 Hobart Race control requested that Georgia’s Epirb be turned off.
Merit is heading towards Bateman’s Bay and will rendezvous with the Police Launch Nemesis.
All crew safe and well.
At the 005 Listening sked, JBW reported that Georgia was awash at 35 29 S, 151.16.68 E, with no lights showing and was therefore a navigation hazard.
The Sail-World team are monitoring race frequencies and is only releasing this story because it has been advised that next of kin have been notified.
Up ahead it's a neck and neck race between the two 98 footers Skandia and Wild Oats XI, now off Montague Island.