Crew Abandons Skandia in '04 Sydney Hobart Race
(December 28, 2004) The stricken supermaxi, Skandia, has lost her massive keel and capsized in the Tasman Sea late today as skipper Grant Wharington and his crew flew into Hobart after taking to liferafts earlier in the day. Skandia tonight is floating upside down, some 80 nautical miles offshore. It is not known if her towering mast has broken. Wharington said the canting keel, which had become jammed to starboard, had broken off late this afternoon and the boat had rolled over.
After landing hard off a large rogue wave, the impact bent both hydraulic rams controlling the big canting keel, which came loose and swung to one side, laying the boat on its side. The crew was able to stabilize the keel for a time and began motoring downwind. However, the keel came loose again and began chopping through the hull of the boat. With a police launch fast approaching, and afraid that the keel could fall off the yacht, capsizing it, at 8:00 am the 16 members of the crew transferred to liferafts, and were taken aboard the police launch Van Diemen about a half hour later.
Photos by Ian Mainsbridge/PPL and Daniel Forster/Rolex