posted on Feb, 14 2005 @ 04:15 PM
South Africa's first America's Cup entrant, Shosholoza, has suffered heavy damage after hitting a whale during training.
Skipper Geof Meek and navigator Marc Lagesse were both injured in the incident off Cape Town, with both steering wheels also being ripped off when the
collision occurred between the southern right whale and the yacht's four-metre keel.
"The sudden impact brought the yacht to a dead stop," said a statement from the team, which also insisted it does its best to be careful sailing the
waters because groups of whales are often seen in the area.
"We are always vigilant, both about them and other objects in the water, but the keel has a four-metre draft and this whale must have been deep in the
water below us," sailing manager Paul Standbridge told Reuters.
Meek hurt his knee and Lagesse his collarbone in the accident, while another member fell of the yacht and several more suffered less serious
"The entire crew is pretty shaken up and a number of them have minor arm injuries from bracing themselves and whiplash from the sudden impact,"