07 August 2023
In July 2022, Nexba, a newly commissioned, 30-foot Farr X2 racing yacht, made an offshore qualifying passage with two experienced crew when, about just off the coast of Wollongong, the keel catastrophically failed and the boat quickly inverted.
After 14 hours of clinging to the upturned hull, the two crew were safely rescued. The hull of Nexba was found washed up on a beach near Austinmer boat ramp.
Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) formed a Review Working Party to investigate and provide an account of the circumstances relating to the capsize of Nexba and the sailors’ survival.
The report is now publicly available and aims to contribute to safety in sailing and the sailing industry. It includes lessons learned by those involved in the incident as a direct contribution to improved safety of the wider sailing community. It aligns with World Sailing’s ‘Guidelines for Independent Incident Reviews and Reporting’ and is supported by Australian Sailing.
RPAYC acknowledges the thorough and detailed work that the volunteer Review Working Party of Chris Links (marine shipwright and professional sailor), Jan Scholten (30 years of industry experience in sail making and rigging and short-handed offshore sailor) and Anne Simpson (Senior Engineer in ship certification, member of Australian Sailing’s National Safety Committee and keen sailor), have done.
“On behalf of the Club, I would like to thank and appreciate the group’s work, recognising the tremendous amount of experience they brought,” stated Robert McClelland, Commodore Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.
Australian Sailing President, Alistair Murray AM, commented on the report: “Australian Sailing would like to commend the team at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club for their review into the Nexba incident.
“The report is thorough and was professionally prepared and we would like to thank both the Club and the members of the Review Working Party for their diligent work. There are findings in this report that will have an impact on safety in sailing and may indeed save a life one day.”
The report is also available at the RPAYC website under ‘Latest Club News’ and will also be available on the Australian Sailing Major Incident Reports page Major Incident Reports | Australian Sailing – Resources at: sailingresources.org.au