Aqua Quorum found

The abandoned hull of Pete Goss' Open 50 has been located off the coast of Brazil

Tuesday March 19th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Initial reports are coming in that the abandoned hull of Alex Bennett's One Dream-One Mission have been found off the coast of Brazil. This yellow Open 50 is most famous as the boat which Pete Goss campaigned in the 1996/7 Vendee Globe challenge as Aqua Quorum and in which he heroically rescued stricken fellow competitor Raphael Dinelli. It was sailed in the last Vendee Globe by French yachtsman and journalist Patrice Carpentier.

The boat was abandoned on 15 December by skipper Alex Bennett as he delivered her back from Brazil and the end of the Transat Jacques Vabre. The giant hydraulic rams operating her canting keel had both broken and Bennett had been worried about the integrity of the boat with the keel swinging of its own accord and bad weather forecast. It is believed that the wreck that has been discovered has her bulb missing.

"The report they've given it sounds like it is mine," Bennett told madforsailing this morning. "I'd love to have my boat back. It is the worst nightmare when you lose it." But at present it is unclear of the boat's condition or who has claimed salvage rights. "I don't think it will be the Open 50 we knew. Obviously there were enough problems for me to leave it and it's been out there for three months".

Bennett will certainly be hoping to recover the boat as it was the cornerstone from which he planned to build towards the Vendee Globe in 2004. Matters were made all the worse when the boat's insurers did not pay out after Bennett abandoned it.

Fingers crossed he gets this piece of yachting heritage back...

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