Spies celebrates the important work of SOLAS after the loss of Hollywood Boulevard

  • Club
  • NEWS
  • By Damian Maclennan
  • 15 Jan 2018 12:08:18
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Older image of Hollywood Boulevard

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Six crew were winched to safety in a sea rescue, after one of the entrants of this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race started sinking in Bass Strait on the return from Tasmania.

Ray Roberts’ Farr 55, Hollywood Boulevard, was on its way back to NSW when the incident happened. All crew were recovered safely and without injury. The boat has been towed to Eden.

Experienced yachtsman and CYCA member Michael Spies, a veteran of more than 40 Hobart races, was on board, “We had a very competent and highly experienced team on the boat. It was 8am and change of watch.”

“We heard a massive bang like we ran aground but you don’t do that in the middle of Bass Strait. I ran up to the front of the boat and saw a very large and stunned sunfish.”

“At that stage we had been doing around 12 knots with reduced sail area from through the night.”

“The collision meant the port rudder had been breached and we were taking on water. We slowed the flow down quite significantly, but it was getting worse and worse.”

“We coordinated with marine authorities who asked if we could get to port safely and the answer was no. They said they were sending two choppers to get us.”

“What was quite amazing was that there was no glimpse of panic or anxiety. A group of six people became a team in a very short space of time. The senior sailors took ownership of certain components and they were ably supported.”

Spies went on to cite the important work of the CYCA’s Safety of Life at Sea Trusts (SOLAS) which, amongst other objectives, works to provide assistance to search and rescue organisations and foster research and training to improve procedures and equipment for use at sea.

“As an exercise in safe seamanship and recovery you couldn’t have scripted it any better but we will debrief with relevant authorities to make sure we further refine processes and actions. The key is to pass on learnings to members and ocean racers.”

“What it highlights is that everything we’ve been doing in the last 20 years with the CYCA’s Safety of Life at Sea Trusts (SOLAS), is correct. It’s hugely important.”

**story has been updated to confirm it has been towed to Eden rather than being unrecoverable**

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