David Witt, the skipper of Seng Huang Lee’s Scallywag, reported this morning the super maxi had retired from the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race after a keel ram exploded on the super maxi as they were sailing near Smoky Cape shortly after 9am. All crew members are safe and well.
“Such a pity, we were right alongside Wild Oats XI,” Witt reported from the yacht, which was giving the race record holder a run for her money in the 31st running of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 384 nautical mile race.
“We are at Trial Bay near Smoky Cape floating around – we can’t sail. A rescue boat has taken some crew members of the boat into Trial Bay, including SH (owner Seng Huang Lee). We are fine, just not happy,” said Witt, who plans to motor the yacht to Newcastle. Currently (11.00am local time) she is making progress at just under 8kts back up her track.
After a slow night any chance of race leader Wild Oats XI breaking her 2012 record of 22hrs 3mins 43secs will expire shortly after 11am today. Mark Richards has kept the boat moving in light airs, but they are still 173 nautical miles from the finish at Main Beach, Southport.
Scallywag’s retirement means five of the original 75 yachts are out of the race, leaving 70 racing. She joins Concubine, Merlin, Secret Mens Business and Wax Lyrical.
Earlier the On Board Report aboard Scallywag, Kim Pascoe, told Sail-World that the supermaxi had recovered well after a difficult start.
‘We had a very busy start with a near collision which didn’t leave us in a good position and we ended up in a hole before going it of the Heads.
‘We recovered well and our new mods preformed superbly allowing us to getting within a mile of Oats. We were closer inshore and The breeze was quiet light inshore.
‘The breeze picked up and we got within two miles of Oats. Unfortunately we had a calibration issue with our keel which we manage to finally fix by daylight.
‘Cruising along now average 15kt and closing on Oats with them insight at 2.5nm between us with 200nm to go!