A marathon yacht race from Plymouth, U.K. to Western Australia has taken a severe toll?
AV Turbulent water over reef near Rottnest Island, off Fremantle, Australia, with yacht Anitra aground
AV Yacht Anitra being pounded by waves, with crew still aboard (2 shots)
GV Anitra aground close to shore with tide going out (3 shots)
SV Name displayed on boat, people on shore watching (3 shots)
AV Yacht Anitra aground (3 shots)
AV Rescuers in surf working on yacht while onlookers observe from beach (2 shots)
AV Anitra aground with rescuers in surf (2 shots)
AV Patrol boat Vigilant standing off with line to Anitra's main mast (4 shots)
SPENCE: "The 17 metre (55 foot) French ketch Anitra Two ran aground just before dawn today (25 November) 20 kilometres (12 miles) short of the finish line after sailing almost twenty thousand kilometres (12 thousand miles) from Plymouth (U.K.). The tragedy came as the handful of the open division race leaders were rendezvousing off Rottnest Island ready for the run for the finish which was scheduled for ten o'clock this morning. However, a navigational error left Anitra high and dry on the reef with rescue crews rushing to her aid in a bid to drag the ketch free. However, heavy swells posed extra problems for the rescue boats and Anitra was stuck firm unable to be freed, her rudder ground into the reef and more than a metre (3 feet) of keel torn away by the pounding.
Despite the swells sweeping across the reef some of the ten-man crew under Dr. Gilbert Malka managed to get ashore on Rottnest, the first time they have been on land since leaving Cape Town (South Africa) several weeks ago at the start of the second leg of the race. Since we first hovered over Anitra in our helicopter the tide has gone out and she is now wallowing helplessly on the rocky shelf with just a little water under her.
The patrol boat Vigilant is standing off to seaward, a line aboard to Anitra, fastened to the top of her mast to steady her roll. It is a sad end to a magnificent effort, sailing thousands of kilometres (miles) to Australia only to end up a wreck on the south end of Rottnest Island."
SPORT: YACHT RACING
REPORTER: TERRY SPENCE
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A marathon yacht race from Plymouth, U.K. to Western Australia has taken a severe toll on yachts, their equipment and crews. The Parmelia race was part of celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the founding of Western Australia. The thirty entrants attempted to retrace the route taken by the settlers who sailed in the Barque Parmelia to what is now Perth, Western Australia in 1829. The racing yachts aimed to arrive at Perth precisely at 10.00 a.m. local time on 25 November and some of the fastest loitered near Rottnest Island, near Fremantle, to avoid being early. Others sought line honours and pressed on to the finish. The 20 metre (66-foot) West Australian Ketch Independent Endeavour was first over the line, followed by the big Australian sloop Siska and the French sloop Gauloise Three. But one of the biggest Open Class entrants, Anitra Two, biding her time off Rottnest Island in an attempt to hit the target date, was one of the many entrants that failed to finish. Channel Nine Perth's Terry Spence reports.