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13 January 2005, 10:00 am
Keel Failure
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Wharington Sues

Grant WHARINGTON, owner and skipper of the maxi monohull 'Skandia' which capsized after losing its canting keel during the Rolex Sydney Hobart race, released the following notice today concerning a lawsuit filed against the designer of his boat's canting keel hydraulic system:
'The super-maxi yacht Skandia, previous line honours winner of the 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, was forced to abandon the 2004 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race when the hydraulic system designed to control its canting keel failed.

'Extensive damage was caused to the yacht as a direct result of the failure. The keel subsequently detached from the yacht completely, and the yacht was towed to safe harbour.

'Today, proceedings were issued out of the Supreme Court of Victoria against the designer and manufacturer of the hydraulic system, seeking unspecified damages arising out of the failure. It is the intention of the plaintiff to seek a speedy resolution to this litigation.

'We would like to take this opportunity to stress that we have 110% confidence in our Chief Designer, Don Jones - in what he has done with Skandia and what he continues to do with our latest VO 70 project. This action should send a strong message to all that Don is in no way implicated in any of this, and he should continue to enjoy his well earned reputation as one of the most innovative and safest yacht designers of our time.

As the matter is now the subject of legal process, no further comment can be made at this stage.'

Source: Image: © Rolex Media
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