The keel may be on the bottom of the Hauraki Gulf, but New Zealand skipper Chris Dickson and his Oracle Racing team remain upbeat
The keel may be on the bottom of the Hauraki Gulf, but New Zealand skipper Chris Dickson and his Oracle Racing team remain upbeat. Dickson, as skipper and driver of Oracle’s USA49, was at the helm on Wednesday when it broke its keel and capsized. The experience was not new to Dickson, who just a year ago was at the helm of USA61 when it lost its keel and similarly capsized. Although the incident is far from funny, Dickson was reported as saying that, “There probably aren’t too many other sailors in the world who have broken two keels in a year.”
The keel is resting in some 100ft of water. Divers yesterday located the 20 tonne, lead keel in the hope that a salvage team may be able to recover the vital accessory. It was fortunate at least that the rig is still in one piece and the sail was recovered. Dickson wasted no time in praising the team in their ability to limit the damage toll.
Oracle admits that the incident is a set back, but not a major one. The team hopes to have the boat repaired and back on the water in as little as a week.