Smooth rescue, says expert

Captain B.M. Kleijwegt is a salvage consultant with SMIT.

At 18.00 hrs (Pacific Time) Captain Kleijwegt reported in. He said that he expected Gipsy Moth to arrive in Tahiti around 13.00 hrs ~ 14.00 hrs the following day Saturday 6th May their time ( this will be approximately 00.00 hrs ~ 01.00 hrs Sunday 7th BST).

He said that the teamwork between Bruno Videau, the local villagers, the UKSA team and the tug drivers had been exceptional. It was a very nice operation and it had been great to see the boat afloat again. It was quite something and had worked out as well as he could have expected or hoped. All the patching and the preparations had worked very well and the rescue had gone without a hitch.

He said that once in New Zealand, certainly there will be the skills and expertise to repair her and he looks forward to the day when she will be restored to her former glory.

The Gipsy Moth Team would like to thank Captain Burt Kleijwegt (SMIT), Bruno Video, the tug boat captain, Richard Baggett, John Jeffreys, Peter Seymour and his team at the Blue Water Rallies, Paul Gelder, editor of Yachting Monthly, the Deputy Mayor on Rangiroa and all the parties involved in the rescue mission for their perseverance and fortitude. Without the co-operative spirit of these individuals the rescue attempt may not have been so successful.