The Victorian yacht Rush is sailing to Coles Bay where an ambulance will be waiting for injured crew member Ben Renshaw, who broke a leg while the boat was sailing south of Freycinet Peninsula on the Tasmanian east coast.
Rush has not retired from the race at this stage and her ETA in Coles Bay is 1300 hours today.
Meanwhile, Tony Kirby’s brand new Ker 46 Patrice and James Clayton’s Sigma 41 Black Adder are the latest yachts to retire from the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race as the fleet is buffeted by gale force conditions that have battered the fleet along the Tasmanian coast.
Patrice suffered minor hull damage east of Tasman Island around 7.40am this morning and is motoring back to Orford, which is a considerable distance north of Tasman.
Kirby’s boat was launched only weeks before the race start, and in lead-up races out of Sydney it had shown great promise and had emerged as one of the boats most likely to win the Tattersall’s Cup for overall victory in the race. She had been positioned in the top five overall since yesterday morning.
Patrice and Black Adder, which was last on line and has headed to Eden with no reason given, become the eighth and ninth retirements from the original fleet of 94.
The south-wester this morning has already accounted for Wedgetail (dismasted off Tasman Island), Luna Sea and the Clipper 70 Henri Lloyd, both out with rudder damage east of Flinders Island.
There are now 76 yachts left racing with another eight safe in Hobart: Wild Oats XI, Perpetual LOYAL, Ragamuffin 100, Black Jack, Beau Geste, Giacomo, Wild Thing and Ichi Ban.
Victoire is the latest finisher, with Varuna due next, before 9.00am this morning.
Conditions at sea are still very difficult because of frequent gusts that are double the strength of an already fresh prevailing breeze. It is expected to abate during the day.
By Jim Gale and Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR Media