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The initial problem aboard the 36ft racing yacht occurred when the rudder stock snapped leaving the rudder to swing free. The J/111 is one of the most popular keelboat racing designs in the world.

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The Django's crew abandoned ship into a liferaft, but as it was being hauled across to the Otago, RCCNZ reports they feared the larger vessel was about to roll over and crush them in the heavy seas, and they cut the rope. The Otago then sent a swimmer into the water with another rope, to tie the liferaft on again and bring it alongside.
Would have been a nice swim for a dude in NZ waters in the middle of winter.

Another case of sailing in the wrong season... but when is the right season to go anywhere near NZ?
 
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