A sailboat participating in the 50th Transpacific Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu sank early today after the vessel encountered rudder problems.
Race organizers reported the race tracking system activated an emergency signal from Santa Cruz 70 OEX after distressed crew members made a mayday call when their vessel began to take on water at about 2 a.m.
The vessel was about 242 nautical miles southwest of San Diego at the time crew members made the distress call, according to Chief Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West, spokesman of the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.
All nine crew members aboard the boat safely abandoned the boat, race officials said. No one was injured.
The Coast Guard Sector San Diego launched a helicopter but returned after they heard another vessel came to their rescue.
Organizers said Waikiki Yacht Club member Roy Disney who is skippering the 68 Pyewacket spotted the crew members in life rafts and rescued them about 30 minutes later.
The Santa Cruz 70 OEX sank at about 3 a.m., they said.
Organizers reported the Pyewacket carrying the nine Santa Cruz crew members and 10 Pyewacket crew members was heading to Marina Del Ray and expected to arrive Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, a skipper aboard a mutihull, Maserati Multi 70, reported damage to the boat’s left hull bow and rudder wing when it collided with an unspecified large floating object.
“We didn’t understand what it was but it was very big, it came out of the water, at least one meter high out of the water,” said skipper Giovanni Soldini, according to a news release from race officials. “It hit the left side hull with great force, severely damaging it, then it glided along the hull and hit the rudder. The fuse system worked, but the object was so big that we lost the outer half of the wing.”
The multihull boat sustained damage to the half of its rudder wing, forcing it to stop for an hour. The Maserati has since resumed sailing.
The Transpac race involved three separate starts that took place Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
A record 90 boats entered the 2,225 nautical mile race but six boats retired from the race due to varying problems.