Grant Wharington dispels rumours about keel problems aboard Brunel 21/5/06

Some earlier rumours about problems aboard the VOR yacht Brunel were dismissed by Grant Wharington who spoke to Yachting World earlier today.

According to Wharington, who stepped off the boat as skipper with health problems in New York, the crew is incredibly tired and are still struggling to get back on track following the repair of their split sail, which happen last Thursday.

Commenting on the situation Wharington said: “The split in the sail happened during a gybe when the team were called back to go to the location to assist ABN AMRO Two on Thursday morning. That affected them a great deal because they’d worked hard making their way south to get the right side of the low so of course they had to go the wrong way.”

Today’s rumours were sparked when the team reported noises around the keel area but Wharington confirms there is no problem and they are in no danger, adding: “Yes, they were slightly concerned because they were getting some noises round the keel where the hydraulics are but it turned out to be nothing. The noise was a result of us changing some bolts on the attachment plates and they were just grinding away on the washers underneath the bulkhead. It wasn’t a major at all.

“Despite their setbacks the team are really happy with the boat and how they were going for the first four or five days but I think they will be happy to end up with fifth on the water. They are happy to back off a little and play it safe because they have a lot of wind at the moment – 40kts.”

Brunel are currently making 17kts in 40kts of wind and their estimated time of arrival in Portsmouth is tomorrow at approximately 1300.