AUDIO: Nick Moloney on his keel disaster


 
The Australian Vendee Globe skipper recounts his ordeal
Listen to the audio here As communicated earlier this morning, the Open 60 Skandia, competing in the Vendée Globe solo non-stop around the world race, suffered a major technical failure to it’s keel at approximately 0500GMT today. The keel finally broke away from the yacht just after 0830GMT. Skandia skipper, Nick Moloney, was able to stabilise the yacht by dropping it's sails and filling the boat’s water ballast tanks (approximately 5 tons in total), giving the boat sufficient stability to remain upright even without the keel. The weather conditions are moderate to calm, and Moloney has been able to hold his position at approximately 135 miles south of Rio de Janeiro. Moloney is unharmed, and safe on board Skandia and dealing with the situation as best he can. A vessel is due to leave Rio de Janeiro shortly to make its way to Skandia’s latest position and assist with a tow to speed Moloney’s return to a safe port. Conditions on board remain stable and Moloney is able to make some miles under engine towards Rio when the winds are light. It is hoped that a tow will be in place by sunrise tomorrow. The keel of Skandia is made from high tensile steel, to a relatively conservative design by Roger Scammell. In design safety terms, the keel was an evolution from the original keel that was fitted to Skandia in her original configuration as Kingfisher, that Ellen MacArthur sailed to second place in the 2000-1 Vendée Globe. The keel was replaced with a new one prior to the Route du Rhum at the end of 2002. The boat has since raced the Transat Jacques Vabre and The Transat, and in between each race the keel has been carefully and meticulously inspected. The inspection that was completed successfully in March 2004 including taking the

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