30 Dec 2008

Solo yachtsman in trouble

3:11 pm on 30 December 2008

A Canadian solo yachtsman in a round-the-world race is making his way to Hobart after striking trouble in the Southern Ocean.

Derek Hatfield was competing in the Vendee Globe round-the-world race, when the mast of his yacht was damaged by a rogue wave.

The ABC reported on Tuesday morning that he was about 1000 nautical miles from Tasmania and had run out of engine fuel.

Hatfield's crew in Hobart says Australian authorities have a helicopter on standby to help the yachtsman if needed.

A spokesman says he will have to stay awake in order to nurse the boat into Hobart. This could take "the best part of a week".

Earlier this month, a Frenchman sailing in the same race had to be rescued by an Australian frigate after breaking his leg.