Lawson takes a detour on his tour >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Donald Lawson, who acquired the ORMA 60 Trimaran Mighty Merloe from Howard Enloe in April 2022 for a record-setting and education program, needed salvage services when his 60-foot trimaran called out for distress on August 31.

The delicate multihull, which set the Transpac Race record in 2017 of 04:06:32:30, ran aground hard on Anacapa Island, a small volcanic island located about 12 nm offshore from the southern California coast. The ship was stuck in a rocky cove and against a cliff, the mast hitting the cliff.

When TowBoatUS arrived, they encountered a large kelp bed and shallow water that prevented resources from getting too close. To get victims out of danger and act as quickly as possible to preserve the value of the vessel and before pollution occurs in the Channel Islands National Park and NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Captain Carson Shevitz swam to bring a tow hawser through the kelp and attach to the ship.

The vessel, now called Defiant, and the two people on board were safely removed from the island and towed 16nm to the port of Ventura.

Originally Groupama 2, it was the last ORMA class trimaran to be built, launched in 2004 and winning five ORMA championships under skipper Franck Cammas. After serving as Oracle Team USA’s training rig for the 33rd America’s Cup in 2010, the VPLP-designed 60-footer was sold to Enloe in 2014.

Captain Lawson and his Dark Seas Project team had been on a west coast tour with the boat visiting sailing centres, yacht clubs and school teaching on DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion) opportunities in the industry shipping as well as the environmental benefits of clean energy systems. to bring.

Lawson reported Sept. 3 that the boat is now in Los Angeles for the next two months preparing for its first record in late fall.

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