Team SEB, currently fourth overall in the Volvo Ocean Race, is right now manoeuvring under emergency rudder and has retired from leg three. She retires due to losing her main rudder on route to Hobart from Sydney.
Team SEB is now sailing doubling back to mainland Australia for necessary repairs. The boat is sound and all crew are safe and well.
" This is a very hard blow for all of us in the team, being stopped for the full leg by things like this is very sad" reports skipper Gurra Krantz from onboard.
It was during the night to Friday that the main rudder's bottom rudder bearing went to pieces. As a result, the rudder broke away from the hull and became unattached. The crew managed to salvage the rudder before it went to pieces and installed the emergency rudder. The damage occurred 70 miles north of Tasmania's northeast tip while doing 10 knots of speed in strong south-westerly breezes.
A big amount of water flooded the boat until all the watertight hatches were closed, and the hole in the hull, due to the missing rudder, was plugged. When the damages of the bottom rudder bearing was discovered, it had already broken from its hull fastening, and the main issue was ensuring that the rudder would not break to pieces or damage the hull. The crew is presently investigating why this damage has occurred.
Due to the rudder damages, Team SEB retires from leg three of the Volvo Ocean Race. The boat is now on course for Eden, NSW, on the southeast coast of Australia to carry out necessary repairs before sailing or transporting the boat to Auckland, New Zealand.
"What has happened is very sad for us, but most important in a situation of this magnitude is ensuring the crew and the boat are safe. In the prevailing conditions here, we would not venture to carry on racing with an emergency rudder" says Gurra Krantz.