ANZ Sail Fiji race management team member Suellen Hurling took a satellite phone call from the understandably upset skipper of Notorious at 1115 hours on Sunday 5th June.
Christiaan Arns, who is also a member of the Royal Akarana Yacht Club organising committee for this years race, was emotional as he formally advised that Notorious had to withdraw.
“We have massive engine issues. We are unable to charge batteries and if we had an emergency situation, then we wouldn’t be in a good position.
“All the crew are ok, but are very disappointed. We have worked incredibly hard to be here,” said Arns.
The tracker clearly shows the Beneteau First 44.7 altering course to head to Opua. Race Director Sally Garrett has organised customs clearance for the crew with Manuela Hornell on standby to assist when they arrive.
A campaign has now gone into action to get Arns, along with fellow organising committee member Cam Maher and the rest of the crew on the next plane to Fiji.
“We are so saddened by the news of Notorious withdrawing. We know how hard Christiaan has worked and he was so excited to get to Fiji,” said RAYC Fiji Port Captain Jenny Price.
“When they withdraw, Notorious was 3rd on IRC and having a great race,” continued Price.
The rest the fleet continues to make way to Denarau in Fiji with Giacomo predicting they will complete 500 nautical miles today.