Blue Water Rally yachts all reach Sri Lanka safely

Galle’s new ’Blue Snake Pontoon’ where Blue Water Rally boats are berthed
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After passing through some challenging weather while crossing the Bay of Bengal, all yachts in the Blue Water Rally have reached Galle in Sri Lanka safely. Reports in the yachting press had erroneously reported that a member of the Rally fleet had lost their yacht.

The said yacht, Baccus, a Sun Odyssey 45 owned by British sailors Keith and Susan Harding, and lost in the same waters as the rally fleet, had been a part of the Blue Water Rally some years ago, but was travelling independently.

The rough weather during the crossing was unforecast and the organisers of the Rally described the crews as 'a little shaken but not stirred.'

This is how they described the experience: 'A depression crossing the Bay of Bengal delivered some surprise, unforecast days of very strong winds, right on the nose of some of our fleet. They suffered a few days of being forced backwards some miles, and they suffered some great confusion about which way to turn to get out of trouble and later avoid further risk, but (before arriving in Sri Lanka) they have ... had 36 hours of sunshine, gentle winds and moderating seas.

On Baccus, caught in the same weather system, Keith Harding, who was travelling with two friends, Colin Clarke and Sieste Hoff, sent a Mayday when their yacht lost steerage and began to sink.

Once again the merchant ships of the world came to the rescue. Contacted by Falmouth Coastguard through their relationships with local coastguards, merchant ship the Maersk Surabaya rescued the three crew and Baccus was abandoned. The three crew are travelling back to Malaysia with the ship.

In the meantime the Rally boats were celebrating their most recent crossing in Galle, Sri Lanka. The round the world rally is just one of the rallies that Blue Water Rallies operates. The current 2009-20011 Blue Water Rally, left Gibraltar at the end of October 2009 and they will return to the Mediterranean in April 2011.

For more information about Blue Water Rallies, go to their http://www.yachtrallies.co.uk!website.