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Afloat.ie: Cork's Week of Highs and Lows

26th November 2009
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What a difference a week makes. Last Tuesday the amateur crew onboard Cork was jubilant at winning their first prize in the race from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town and congratulations were not in short supply. Cllr Derry Canty, Mayor of County Cork phoned skipper Richie Fearon to congratulate him and the crew on their major achievement onboard Cork. Listen into Richie on the afloat.ie podcast as he departs for Australia this afternoon:

The Cork team were guests of honour at an event hosted by Irish Ambassador Colin Wrafter, which was attended by top South African tour operators and travel media contacts. Sir Robin Knox Johnston, founder of the Clipper Race, was also present at the event.

Tourism Ireland’s marketing activity in South Africa included a special Ireland promotion which ran all last week on popular radio station Cape Talk and was heard by almost 150,000 people. The promotion featured a competition for listeners to win a fantastic trip to Cork in July of next year, in time for all the Clipper festivities. Tourism Ireland also arranged for high profile South African presenter Nancy Richards to interview two of the Cork crew members – Orla Mellett and Noreen Osbourne – on SAFM, a radio station which reaches about 86,000 South African listeners.

However the awareness of Cork increased even further on Sunday 22 November when they collided with Hull & Humber at the start and had to return to Royal Cape Yacht Club to undergo repairs.

The work on Cork is likely to take three or four days to complete and the team will leave and continue racing to Geraldton in Western Australia as soon as the boat is ready.

The damage to Hull & Humber is more extensive and requires more work. A number of boat builders and marine surveyors spent yesterday assessing the extent of the damage and looking at the options to repair the hole in the hull. With around 25,000 miles still to race in Clipper 09-10 and the rigours of the Southern and Pacific Oceans to come, safety is the number one priority and the surveyors must be satisfied with the strength and structural integrity of the repair.  As a result it in anticipated that Hull & Humber will not be in position to resume racing until Tuesday 01 December.

It is hoped that both boats will make it to Geraldton, Western Australia in time for Christmas.

 

 

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