Saturday, January 3, 2015

Team Australia Dismasted Near Port Macquarie

The 100-foot mast of Sean Langman's 60 foot multihull, Team Australia came crashing just before 11:00am this morning when the trimaran was 10 nautical miles out to sea south of Port Macquarie on the new South Wales mid-coast. Winds at the time were 17 knots from the north east. The yacht was competing in the Club Marine Pittwater to Coffs Yacht Race. The eight man crew are all unharmed and safe.
Photo: Josh Alexander
“It’s a shock given we had we weren’t doing anything unusual, we were just starting to get going properly. It’s disappointing and not over yet, we still have to get in. We are heading back south as it’s too difficult to motor straight up wind," said Skipper/Owner Sean Langman via mobile phone at 1300hrs.
Photo: Josh Alexander
“The carbon fibre made a hell of a noise when it cracked. It ended up in three bits so it’s not really repairable. Jimmy [Spithill] was steering at the time, he was telling everyone to stay down below. It would have been a much worse situation if any of the guys were hurt. We are all good and now playing with jury rigs so we can get going,” Langman added.
Team Australia at the start Photo: Howard Wright 
After trying to retrieve the mast and sails proved too difficult, the decision was made to jettison the broken mast. It's location was mark with a Dan buoy, flashing light and flag and a spare Yellowbrick tracking device for future salvage.
Jimmy Spithill Photo: Howard Wright 
Team Australia is currently motoring south under jury rig to Port Stephens where Langman has a boatyard at nearby Nelson Bay. The race committee will continue to monitor the situation and keep track of the boat's position until they are safe at port. Maritime authorities have been alerted should the crew require assistance to reach port safely. At this time there’s no known reason for the dismasting.

The rest of the racing fleet heading north have been alerted to the large obstacle drifting on the surface potentially in their path via a sécurité radio message from Water Police Area Command.

Lulu Roseman

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