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Afloat.ie: Cork Reaches Australia then Retires

22nd December 2009
Afloat.ie: Cork Reaches Australia then Retires
Following a dramatic start to their race from Cape Town, South Africa, when Cork collided on the start line with Hull & Humber, the team has arrived in Geraldton, Western Australia at the end of the Southern Ocean leg of Clipper 09-10 round the world yacht race. Finishing ninth, but in an act of good sportsmanship and recognising that his team was at fault, skipper Richie Fearon handed over his race declaration stating that Cork was retiring from Race 4.

“Taking the racing rules aside, I think that this was the only thing we could do,” says Richie. “We caused a significant amount of damage to Hull & Humber and we were at fault. Although we knew we would be retiring at the end of the race, we tried to race the boat as fast as we could on the way across and tried to keep pace with the guys ahead. I think in terms of number of days racing, we got in a day earlier than everyone else, so it was successful enough given the circumstances beforehand.”

 Following each individual race in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the skippers and watch leaders are required to complete and sign an official declaration form confirming that they have complied with all of the racing rules.

 Cork’s declaration form stated that they had contravened a rule in part 2 of the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) and as specified in the RSS, they have retired from Race 4 for this breach of the rules.

 Clipper Race Director, Joff Bailey says, “Richie and the Cork team have stood up and accepted responsibility for the start line incident and retiring from the race was the only course of action open to them due to the damage that was caused. The Race Committee has accepted Cork’s decision to retire from Race 4.”

Tradition was followed yesterday evening at Geraldton Yacht Club during the prize giving ceremony. Normally a ‘Tool of the Week’ award goes to a local sailor who has done something less than impressive out on the water, however Race Director Bailey announced that it would now be included as a regular feature of the Clipper Race. To a loud cheer, Richie Fearon was called on stage and made to don a dayglo jacket complete with L plates, following the start line collision in Cape Town.

The Cork crew are looking forward to a break over the Christmas period – some of the creew are taking the opportunity to travel while others are spending Christmas with family and friends who have travelled to Australia for Christmas.

On 03 January the race will depart from Geraldton for Singapore where they are expected to arrive around 23 January. The Embassy of Ireland in Singapore and Enterprise Ireland are planning events to promote Ireland around the Cork entry during its stay at Keppel Marina in Singapore. 

The race will then continue to Qingdao, China and to San Francisco, Panama, New York and Nova Scotia before arriving in Cork 01-03 July 2010 for 8 days of festivities.  The Clipper Round the World Race will be welcomed in to Kinsale 01-03 July for 4 days of family fun and events. On Wednesday 07 July there will be a parade of sail from Kinsale to Cork for a 2 days festival in the city. Details of the event will be posted here.

Published in Clipper Race
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About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is undoubtedly one of the greatest ocean adventures on the planet, also regarded as one of its toughest endurance challenges. Taking almost a year to complete, it consists of eleven teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of 70-foot ocean racing yachts.

The Clipper Race was established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in 1968-69. His aim was to allow anyone, regardless of previous sailing experience, the chance to embrace the thrill of ocean racing; it is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Around 40 per cent of crew are novices and have never sailed before starting a comprehensive training programme ahead of their adventure.

This unique challenge brings together everyone from chief executives to train drivers, nurses and firefighters, farmers, airline pilots and students, from age 18 upwards, to take on Mother Nature’s toughest and most remote conditions. There is no upper age limit, the oldest competitor to date is 76.

Now in its twelfth edition, the Clipper 2019-20 Race started from London, UK, on 02 September 2019.

 

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