28 Dec 2008

Yachties rescued by fellow race competitors

5:50 am on 28 December 2008

The crew of one of the yachts in the Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race had to be rescued by competitors on other boats late Friday night.

A mayday call was sent just before midnight by the Georgia, a New Zealand-built Farr 52 yacht belonging to Victorian race veterans John Williams and Graeme Ainley.

Race media say the boat suffered a broken rudder stock and was taking on water. Two nearby boats, Ragtime and Volvo 60 Telecoinabox Merit, raced to Georgia's aid.

All 14 members of the crew are reported safe and well on arrival at Batemans Bay on the southern coast of New South Wales. The yacht, holed in the hull, sank.

The skipper of the Georgia says the successful rescue of his crew shows the importance of safety training.

The 16 metre yacht snapped her rudder off the New South Wales coast and the crew of 14 were rescued by another yacht.

They were taken by a police boat to Bateman Bay on Saturday morning.

Skipper and co-owner, Graeme Ainley, says the crew knew how to handle the situation.

Another boat, Sanyo Maris, has pulled out because of equipment failure.

About 100 yachts are taking part in the 64th annual race, which started at 3pm on Boxing Day.