Sailboat Sinks in Return from Bali Rally

Fremantle Bali Race and Rally Organizing Authority, Fremantle Sailing Club, announced yesterday that yacht Froia II has foundered and sunk on a reef north of Cape Talbot, Australia.

Skipper Arthur Phillips and crew are safe and well and current traveling to Darwin to clear customs.

Froia II was part of the 2013 Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally and departed Kupang, Indonesia returning to Australia via Darwin.  A difficult passage was encountered as the SE trades had set in and headwinds of 35 knots were encountered. Having made landfall the vessel turned to sail to Darwin and hit a reef (13 deg 44.74′S, 126 deg 45.35′E) on Saturday 22nd June at 09:30, shortly after high tide.

Despite several attempts to re-float on successive high tides, the breaking waves eventually holed the vessel which settled into the reef with the decks awash. A passing yacht Hows That transported the crew to Kununurra.

Water Police in Fremantle and the local sea rescue groups in Wyndham and Derby have been kept informed of the situation.

The race and rally boats have seen it all from the gentle start off Fremantle and the sight of the sailing warriors moving slowly under a light breeze; to the rampaging seas of a deep low centered off the WA coast, driving all but the fastest boats to seek shelter on the coastline of WA en route to Bali.

Oddessy of Fremantle (Joanna Pearson) and Mooney (Terry Mooney) both retired from the rally whilst Comfortably Numb (Steve O’Keefe) courageously completed the full rally course returning last week to Hillarys marina to the applause of family and members and the curtain call of a calm, brilliant sunset.

Organized by Ralph Newton, several boats are currently enjoying the post race and rally social cruise through the beautiful Indonesian archipelago prior to the expiry of their visas in August when they will return along the Kimberley coastline.

Tony Mitchell’s Super Sled took first on line honours and General Lee helmed by Paul Eldred & Scott Disley first on IRS and PHS with Brian de Vries in Steel de Breeze second and Bill Henson’s Circa third. Of the Rally sailors, a decision could not be made between Ralph Newton and his cat Yandanooka-T (winner of the multihull division) and Don Brooker and his 50ft monohull Dorade, a Beneteau Sense (winner of the monohull division). So wisely, the organizers made them both over all winners in the Rally Division.  Of the 11 yachts that started in the race, Walk on the Wild Side skippered by Garth Curran had to withdraw with a broken mast.  Results may be viewed at www.fremantlebali.com

The memories that come from this year’s race and rally will certainly generate strong interest in the 2015 Race and Rally, so for those who left it too late, get yourselves organised now.

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