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Yachts gone with cyclone

Saturday 6 March 2010 | Published in Regional

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The Aitutaki Sailing Club in Ootu is still searching for missing sailboats which were washed and blown away by cyclone Pat when it struck the outer island on February 10.

Five sailing boats in total were picked up by strong winds and flung into the sea.

Since the cyclone three weeks ago, Aitutaki sailing coach Jim Brittijn has recovered three boats from the Vaipae and Vaipeka areas.

The two boats still missing are of the Optimist class – a small sailing boat for kids aged 6 to 14 years.

Brittijn is appealing to the people of Aitutaki to help recover these two vessels.

“If you have found one of these boats or know about one, please contact me,” asks Brittijn.

“The Aitutaki kids would like their boats back please so they can resume their normal Saturday training.”

All the sailboats from the Aitutaki Sailing Club were donated to give Aitutaki kids a chance to learn to sail and the club is operated by volunteers.

“In the past four years Aitutaki junior sailors have won many national championships and some of its sailors now compete internationally.”

If you have seen these two little sailing crafts during the cyclone clean-up, please call Jim Brittijn on 31458.