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The Boulevard stops here

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 14 Jan 2018 16:29 PST
The Farr55, Hollywood Boulevard © Wendi Lanham

Another one bites the dust, as the mighty sunfish claims one more. This time it is Ray Robert’s Farr 55, Hollywood Boulevard (built by Cookson’s as Living Doll for Michael Hiatt). Returning from Hobart and en route to Sydney, the vessel was 81nm Nor’east of Flinders Island at 1100 hrs on Sunday when the rudder took the brunt of the impact.

The six-person crew were able to send a mayday, as well as activate the EPIRB, and were ultimately winched to safety after abandoning ship. The vessel sank in the high winds and large swells that were present at the time of the incident. This made it even more challenging for the Ambulance Victoria crews sent to retrieve them in two choppers. Interestingly, given the location of the incident way out to sea, both choppers had to refuel at Flinders Island before proceeding to the stricken craft. Three of the crew were taken to the LaTrobe Valley, and the three others were returned to base at Essendon. Roberts greeted them there and praised the efforts of the rescuers in complimenting them on ‘a marvellous effort’.

Being carbon, Hollywood Boulevard probably began to make the hole where the rudder bearing even larger as the stock began to bash around, and this makes stopping the ingress of water even more challenging. When the exceptionally pretty, and beautifully presented Farr 53, Georgia, had her rudder bearing fail during a Hobart some years ago, a similar situation befell her, as her rudder dropped down a bit and began to carve a massive hole in the hull. Georgia’s crew worked tirelessly to save her, trying to push life jackets into the ever-increasing hole, and also pumping like mad, but ultimately they were forced to let her go to Davy Jones’ locker.

So before we go too far, and very much on top of the swells now, we have to say well done to Team Magpie. They are now the Australian Champions in the Etchells for the last three years running. Graeme Taylor, James Mayo, and Steve Jarvin/Richie Allanson have won it on the waters Port Phillip, the Palm Beach Circle and on the Indian Ocean off Fremantle, to show their mastery of all manner of conditions.

Richie Allanson was on board for this one, just as he was with the first at Brighton. So if you have to swap someone in for Mothy, then clearly Richie is the ideal candidate. They are a friendly and convivial outfit, so it is wonderful to see them have the purple patch of purple patches.

This crew also hold the Australasian title from Mooloolaba and were runners up at San Fran in the Worlds – look out Brisbane it would seem. No pressure. Note to other crews. If you’re trying to work out where you need to be, it is in front of the boat with the ‘mirror’ transom.

Right then. News time. Here are some gems for you to review. We have heaps of information from the Volvo Ocean Race as they head North to Hong Kong, the Harken Kidz Trials in the Waszp with Amac, building your own Moth, Musto Skiffs, the 18s, Youth Champs, the Clipper, World Sailing eye off RS:X and Laser, International 14s, Foiling Week, the AC gets in the news again, SB20s, Sail Paradise, B14s, OKs, 29ers, J24s, 13 and 16’ Skiffs, as well as the beginning of the official documentation on the late Simon Spiers (which we began back in The Golden Rules), and certainly there is much, much more.

Remember, if your class or association is generating material, make sure we help you spread your word, and you can do that by emailing us. A big thank you to all of the classes that have taken this up during the busy January period. Finally, keep a weather eye on Sail-World. We are here to bring you the whole story from all over the world…

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