72′ Mini-Maxi Bella Mente sailed into the submerged wreck of an old fishing boat yesterday, hitting it at around ten knots during a beat on the first race of the day at Key West. Hap Fauth (with Terry Hutchinson on tactics and Moose Sanderson on strategy) was at the helm of the sexy new(ish) boat when she hit, the bulb driving through the side of the wreck’s superstructure and hanging the boat up hard. 300 hp on the tender wasn’t enough to pull her off, and Heidi Benjamin’s gorgeous tender Jem was enlisted to put some real power behind the two-astern, and off she came, and BM sailed the second race of the day as well with the dinged up bulb and fin, and they still came out on top of two old Mini-Maxis- the old Shockwave and the chartered Numbers with Rome Kirby at the helm.
Opinions differ on where the fault lies on this one, but we do know that the Key West Jury gave Bella redress for both of Wednesday’s light air races, presumably due to her score being made worse ‘through no fault of her own’. Did the Race Committee set a course over a known, unmarked obstacle? That was presumably the argument. But if that’s the case, what do you think of this screenshot from Navionics on the left? Some say that there’s a red mark with “WR” written on it, directly over the submerged ship…(not the one that says ‘mast’, but nearby) others say the wreck is completely uncharted…a number of competitors on circle 1 told us they’d marked it themselves during practice…”you could see the thing every time you sailed over it…”
We’ll have more info when the jury releases its facts found later today; in the meantime, here’s the KW Thread and thanks to Jen Edney for the awesome sunset shot of an extremely professional hoist and repair, directly over the B-Squared/Sailing Anarchy/Eelsnot J/70 trailer.