Sheared sail drive may prevent Sir RKJ from making the start line

After all the work that has been done on Saga Insurance in the last couple of weeks, a last minute hiccup may jeopardise Sir Robin Knox Johnston making the start line tomorrow, Sunday January 14. During a final sail earlier today, a rope got caught round the propeller on their way back into port causing the sail drive to shear. The plan now is to crane the boat up and tilt it 90 degrees to inspect the damage and repair the shaft.

Sir Robin commented on arrival, “We were coming in and having a super sail and everything was working – it was absolutely great. I have a proper racing boat for once. We were just heading up into the wind and a rope got caught round the prop. We are not sure of the extent of the damage at this stage. We’ve all been down to look at it. We think we can repair it, that’s the main thing. The team will be working through the night and we’re going to crack on with the repair work and go for it. It is just one of those things!”

Aynsley Jardin, Group Brand Director of Saga Insurance, who is on site in Fremantle to wave goodbye to Sir Robin said, “It’s a real shame for Robin to have last minute issues to worry about, but we have absolute faith in him and are really looking forward to the next leg of the race. Robin has taken this all in his stride and treating it as just another classic yachting challenge.”

Picture by Wolf Marloh