“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.