Team Tyco arrived today in Sydney, at 09.00 local time (22.00 GMT), to join the other seven V.O 60 yachts in the picturesque harbour side city.
Four days in to leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Cape Town to Sydney, Tyco were in pole position when disaster struck, and they sustained serious damage to their rudderstock and rudder bearings. After considering the safety implications of sailing through the treacherous Southern Ocean with damaged steering equipment, the team made the heart-breaking decision to retire. Despite the major setback, the crew remained in a positive mood during their return to Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and assessed the damage, stating in their communication back to Race HQ "Although our mountain's getting a little harder to climb, it's by no means over for us".
The yacht arrived this morning on The Mediterranean Shipping Line's container ship "Katie", in Botany Bay; crew member Damian Foxall travelled onboard to keep a close eye on the yacht. Damian was glad to have the opportunity to work-out onboard the ship, and although he was able to have some time off ship in Durban and Fremantle, he is now pleased to be back on land.
At 10.30 local time Tyco was unloaded into the water and at 11.30 she hit the water, where shore members Ian Stewart, Tim Hacket and Martin Carter, alongside crew members Tim Powell and David Endean, motored her round to Rozelle Bay, with the emergency rudder in place. The team were pleased to see the boat arrive safely.
At Rozelle Bay, Tyco was hauled out immediately so that the shore crew could go straight to work, firstly assessing the damage and then installing a new rudder and rudder bearings. Team Tyco plan to have the boat back in the water within a few days, ready to start sail-testing and preparing for the next gruelling leg, which includes the demanding Sydney to Hobart race, and starts on Boxing Day.
Even though the Team Tyco crew have missed out on the first Southern Ocean experience in this race, New Zealand Skipper Kevin Shoebridge still believes that his crew members will be as well prepared as the other teams, commenting: 'A lot of the other guys are tired, a lot of their boats are damaged, and they'll need a rest, whereas we're already rested and ready to go". The Bermudan entry re-assembled in Sydney last week and has been honing their match-racing skills in three-man dinghies, as well as training physically and making as many preparations off-water as possible.
Australian Jim Close, helmsman/trimmer on Tyco, remarked upon arrival "It's not an ideal situation to be doing the round the world race and to have flown, rather than sailed, into my home country, but that is the way it is and I am just happy to be here, and ready to put in 110 percent for the next leg". Commenting on the new rudder they will be fitting, Close joked " Now that we've got an Australian built rudder we should be alright!".
Leg 3 takes the race into Auckland, the City of Sails, and the New Zealanders in the team; skipper Kevin Shoebridge; watch leader Brad Jackson and crew members Robert Salthouse and David Endean, are looking forward to this leg in particular. Shoebridge explained earlier: "our expectations for the next leg are to do well, and that's the same for every leg".
Team Tyco have been awarded one point for Leg Two. This puts them in overall seventh position, having gained five points for completing Leg 1 in fourth place.