Former Volvo Ocean racing sloop Andrew Short Marine-Djuice suffered a keel scar when she temporarily grounded on White Rock near Shute Harbour earlier today.
At the time the power sailing 19.5m high tech sloop was leading the fleet in the 39n/ml Hog's Breath Race Week Molle and Double Cone Island passage race.
The unexpected drama caused by a combination of fickle and unstable winds and a fast flowing current occurred when the yacht was completing what was considered to be a deep water passage around White Rock the southern point rounding mark of the course.
Her deep keel gouged into the rock forcing the crew who were enjoying a comfortable sail in light winds to feel the bump and then scurry into the grounding drill as the water ballast was pumped out in the process of freeing the yacht.
Fortunately the accidental grounding occurred at the peak of the 2.64m tide and apart from the crew suffering some embarrassment and the loss of the line honours lead to the Matt ALLEN skippered Sydney sloop Ichi Ban they were back into catch up racing mode after a 12 minute 'park up'.
Skipper Short and crew used every light wind sail aboard the yacht to chase the leader Ichi Ban only to drift-sail into'glass out' calm before claiming a private breeze to score a close win.
They finished close 2 minute 10 seconds clear of Ichi Ban with Joe skippered by Steven DAVID of Sydney sealing a possible overall championship win with her excellent course time of 5 hours 45 minutes for the shortened 28 n/ml race.
Sticking to a positive race strategy was again the key to success for the Joe crew with tactician Darren JONES adopting an uncanny race plan in a wind that veered between most points of the compass and hardly gusted above six knots in between the drifting calms.
Official handicap results will not be declared until later tonight however the performance of the Swan 45 Joe to beat many other larger yachts home indicates her crew have an excellent chance to extend their title lead over their closest rival the Melbourne sloop Ticket Of Leave helmed by Kevin WOOD.
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.