Damaged keel forces owner to buy new boat but gear failure forces second retirement 31/7/06

Laser SB3 owner William Edwards was ‘forced’ to buy a new boat after he damaged his keel on the opening day of Skandia Cowes Week on Saturday ( see previous story ). The usual thing to do when a keel is deemed irreparable is to replace the keel but Edwards decided that to ensure he and his team aboard Sardonyx VII would make the start of the next race he’d get his cheque book out and sign up for a new boat.

James Mitchell crewman aboard the ill-fated SB3 explained: “We’ll it was just quicker to get a new boat than a new keel. We ordered the new boat at about 2pm on Saturday and we had a new boat the next day. Luckily for us because the racing was abandoned yesterday we had the day to put the boat together, we then chucked it in the water last night.”

However, for Mitchell and team things didn’t go quite as smoothly as planned in today’s maiden voyage. In wind conditions reaching 30kts they encountered gear failure which, once again, forced them to retire. Mitchell concluded: “It was all going really well until we were at the last windward mark while we were lying in the top 30, our mainsheet traveller shackle blew and the jib cunningham came undone. Looking on the bright side we’re using spares from the old boat so we’re about to replace the broken parts. Apart from that we only hit the bottom a couple of times today!”

In a case of third time lucky Mitchell and team are looking forward to tomorrow’s race and hope to bag a decent result.