Bols pulls out of record attempt

Broken wheels to blame

Wednesday April 9th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
After setting off on their bid to break the 24 hour monohull record, the 93ft maxi Bols has had to withdraw due to gear failure.

Within the first hour of their attempt they destroyed one of the two wheels when the mainsheet trimmer was swept through it. Helmsman Rodney Ardern leapt down to leeward to helm the boat from there while the remnants of the broken wheel were removed and the boat reefed. Balancing the boat as best they could under the sails they then rapidly removed the leeward wheel and transferred it up to weather before hitting the gas again.

According to skipper Gordon Kay, they were regularly hitting speeds in excess of 30 knots under main, jibtop and staysail although the sea state was heinous.

They had some mainsheet problems too, but had rectified these and were back up to speed when this time Richard Bouzaid was washed off the wheel taking half of it with him. At this point they were seven hours into the trip and were ahead of the record "Luckily we kept the remnants of the first wheel which got us home," commented Kay.

So illbruck's record stands - for the time being. "We feel we would have been considerably faster in a better sea state," say Kay. "Whether or not we would have gone on to break the record is debatable. Ian Moore our navigator was doing his utmost to keep up with the changes in the system but by the time we withdrew the window was looking less good. The before at one stage the Deckman routing had us doing a 525 day..."

The boat is now heading back to Auckland. "Considering we have been in the water just over two weeks it was a good display from the boat and scratch crew and we have seen just how awesome this boat can be..." commented Kay.

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