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Extra water ballast handicap for Sydney to Hobart fleet.

by News Editor on 30 Dec 2000
This morning's arrival's the Hobart dock told of the extra handicap presented to many of the boats in the stormy seas. Uncontrolled water ballast.

Ninety-Seven arrived at the Hobart dock, with many hundreds of litres of water still sloshing around below decks, with tales of constant bailing.

Apparently during the pounding Bass Strait crossing, the hull had flexed so much that sealing filler around the companionway hatch had broken away, so that even with the hatch closed and storm board locked in place, volumes of water came into the boat with each wave. This committed the crew to constant bailing and as offshore sailors know that is probably the most sick making job on a vessel in heavy seaway.

Ninety-Seven's senior helmsman and tactician Adam Brown praised the crew highly for their commitment in handling the difficult conditions.

The Queensland Santa Cruz 52, Cruz Control had similar water ballast problems
Cruz Control, a large cruising boat had an automatic system, designed to prevent egress of water into the boat from the anchor well. However there was a valve and automatic pump failure and it was not until the floorboards started to float that the problem was discovered. The crew then spent some 2 hours bailing. While the problem was partially fixed. She too arrived with hundreds of litres of water still in bilges.

The Swan 48 Loki told of large volumes of water coming in from hatches and companionway and Tony Kirby, the sailing master said they finished with at least 30 cm of water sloshing around the floor.

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