A Northland rescue helicopter yesterday flew equipment to a partly disabled yacht which is riding out high winds and rough seas off the entrance to the Kaipara Harbour.

Pete Turnbull, chief pilot for the , Northland Emergency Services Trust, said the 12m vessel's engine failed on Friday and its main sails were blown out in 70km/h winds.

However, the three crew of the ketch Cheval de Mer used a small jib and mizzen sail to claw their way north and stay clear of the treacherous lee shore.