Alinghi loses rudder

Disaster for the Swiss America's Cup campaign

Wednesday July 18th 2001, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: United Kingdom
Alinghi, the training boat of the Swiss Challenge for the America's Cup 2003, lost her rudder yesterday (Tuesday) as she was sailing off Sète, in the Mediterranean.
"We were sailing normally, when I suddenly heard a loud noise," said helmsman Jochen Schuemann. "I immediately looked up the mast. But in fact, the sound came from down under - it was the rudder". The boat immediately started to take on water. The crew members activated the pumps, and got assistance from the SNSM (Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer - the French eqivalent of the RNLI).

Alinghi was then towed to the shore. She is now on her cradle, and the repair work has already started. "We got quite scared at first," said Schuemann. "But in reality, there was no serious problem. Thanks to the cohesion of the crew and the rapidity of action, we took Alinghi safely home. We will be sailing again before the end of the week," he concluded.

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