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Rudderless solo sailor towed back to SA

Published Aug 29, 2003

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The yacht Bean 7 and solo Japanese sailor Masayuki Kikuchi, whose faulty rudder left his vessel in trouble in rough seas off Port Elizabeth for nearly two days, is being towed to safety.

The yacht and a tug from a Port Elizabeth salvage company were expected to reach East London by Friday night.

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The tug's crew reported that the sailor was "in high spirits" and the yacht was in good condition apart from its broken rudder.

Kikuchi, experienced yachtsman in his 60s, is trying to complete a return trip from Japan to Cape Town and has been at sea for over a year.

He first had rudder problems off Cape Point in July and was towed to safety by the National Sea Rescue Institute. The yacht was repaired in Hout Bay.

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On Monday Bean 7 was 270 nautical miles south-east of Port Elizabeth when it emerged that he had limited use of the rudder.

On Tuesday the rudder failed and the tug was sent to rescue him.

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