Bad break ends 2Unlimited’s race
THE crew of Tasmanian yacht 2Unlimited is counting its blessings after hitting a sunfish in the Sydney-Hobart on Friday night, snapping off the rudder and having to be rescued by the police launch Van Diemen — twice.
While fellow Tasmanian 66-footer Alive leads the race on overall handicap and is the boat to beat for the Tattersalls Cup, the 40-footer 2Unlimited was 30 nautical miles off Bicheno when it hit the sunfish at 14 knots.
Skipper Greg Prescott described it as like running aground. 2Unlimited was immediately disabled and radioed for help. No one was injured.
The Van Diemen was on the scene three hours later and towed 2Unlimited to Bicheno, where it set anchor.
“The sunfish clipped the keel and on the way past took out the rudder,” Prescott said.
“Then we saw the sunfish and rudder floating around.
“It was like running around. We came nearly to a dead stop.
“We’d just got up to fifth on handicap and then that happened.
“We’re disappointed but it’s what can happen, and it can happen to anyone.”
2Unlimited arrived in Bicheno at 3am yesterday.
“We put our anchor down and it was blowing about 30 knots,” Prescott said. “Then it came in at 50 and we started dragging and almost went on to the rocks.
“Then the Van Diemen came and got us again and towed us up to Falmouth, about six miles north.
“So we had to be rescued twice.”
Prescott said he did not feel bitter about having his race wrecked.
“It’s part of doing the race,” he said.
“There is marine life out there and from time to time the racing yacht can hit them.
“The sunfish was OK, it swam away.”