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Displaying items by tag: Clipper Round The World Race

The Clipper Race fleet has begun the second race of its circumnavigation that began in Portsmouth earlier this month and bid farewell to its first stopover destination, Puerto Sherry, Spain and headed towards Punta del Este, the third consecutive Uruguayan city to host the global event.

Currently leading the pack, the team representing Yacht Club Punta del Este is under the spotlight as it sails towards its home port. With a local Skipper at the helm, the crew is determined to maintain their edge throughout the race.

The Clipper Race is an awe-inspiring challenge that draws participants from all walks of life. Doctors, teachers, and tattoo artists race alongside each other in this formidable test of human endurance, battling some of the planet's harshest weather conditions throughout the 40,000nm circumnavigation. Many crew members have no prior sailing experience before undergoing the rigorous, four-stage training required to qualify for the race.

Having completed the first race and shaken off any nerves, the teams are now geared up for the first ocean crossing of the Clipper 2023-24 Race. Race 2, named the 'Hundred Years Cup' to celebrate Yacht Club Punta del Este's centenary, is a 5300nm voyage across the Atlantic with formidable challenges ahead that will put the crews' fortitude to the test.

This is the third consecutive edition the global event has set sail for the Uruguayan city. And with the team flying the flag Yacht Club Punta del Este at the top of the Clipper Race leaderboard, all eyes will be on the home boat, led by a local Skipper, as it sails into the port it represents.

The Clipper Race sees crews from all walks of life take on the immense challenge of racing across the world’s oceans. Doctors race alongside teachers and tattoo artists in this incredible test of human endurance, facing some of the toughest weather conditions the planet can serve up on the 40,000nm circumnavigation. Many crew have no prior sailing experience before completing the rigorous, compulsory four stages of training required to race.

With nerves shaken off, sea-legs found, and competition-mode fully switched on after the first race, the eleven teams are now raring to go and sailing on the first ocean crossing of the Clipper 2023-24 Race.

Race 2 is named the ‘Hundred Years Cup’ in honour of the centenary Yacht Club Punta del Este is celebrating this year. This stage of the Clipper Race is a 5300nm challenge across the Atlantic with intense conditions ahead and will be a real test of fortitude.

Published in Clipper Race

Gerard Doherty has said in a Foyle Maritime Festival social media video that he was the oldest crew member on the Clipper Ha Long Bay (Vietnam). He is 68 years old, and not only is he the 'senior' of the 18 crew onboard the clipper boat, but when he joined, he was a complete novice sailor, and Derry Now reports that Gerard is the only person from Derry in the race.

In the previous stopover in New York, Gerard said the "big bonus of being in New York was that it was closest to beautiful Derry", and the penultimate stop was especially emotional for him.

Mayor Sandra Duffy greeted Gerard on his arrival, and hundreds of onlookers were there to welcome him at Foyle Marina.

Gerard Doherty (pictured centre) on the Ha Long Bay, Vietnam boat. Photo: Jean Marcus StroleGerard Doherty (pictured centre) on the Ha Long Bay, Vietnam boat. Photo: Jean Marcus Strole

In his Facebook post, he also said, "Doing the Clipper Race has made me appreciate everything I have in my life. Being at sea has been the longest I have been away from my family and two daughters". He had been on the voyage for 80 days.

And the Derry Journal reports that "There were extra special cheers for Gerard at the special prizegiving event held on the quay on Wednesday evening, where the local man was named his crew's winner for the 'Spirit of a Derry Girl' award. In nominating Gerard, his crew told how he has represented and promoted the City of Derry".
The fleet hadn't been in Derry since 2018, the gap forced by the Pandemic, but this visit is the fifth maritime celebration of its kind to be held in the City. It marks the tenth anniversary since the Council first partnered with Clipper Ventures as a host port in the internationally acclaimed Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

The race is scheduled to finish at the Royal Albert Dock in London on Saturday 30th July.

Published in Clipper Race

Bermuda is officially famous in world sailing as the finish point for the biennial CCA Newport-Bermuda classic ocean race. But among crews in that great event, Bermuda is unofficially famous and revered as being the home of the Dark & Stormy, that lethal mixture of the locally-distilled Gosling's dark rum with a particular ginger beer and various spices.

Even the most austere New Englander seems to find it irresistible after battling the vagaries of the Gulf Stream and its sometimes extreme weather variations on the rough haul from Newport. Thus in a place where the Dark & Stormy is regularly consumed in unfeasible quantities, you'd think they'd know the etiquette of partying, in which the Number One Rule - indeed, perhaps the only rule - is that you don't arrive early.

Yet up in Derry where they're preparing for the Foyle Maritime Festival starting on July 20th with the arrival of the Clipper fleet into the heart of the city being the highlight, the leading Bermudian boat has rather put things out of kilter by arriving early with a horizon job lead.

So do the locals now keep the winning crew busy by getting them to help with making the sandwiches? On the contrary, we think the Bermudians are being crazy like a fox. By the time all the fleet is in, the entire Maiden City is going to be necking Dark & Stormies like there's no tomorrow, and Bermuda's exports industry will be thriving.

Published in Clipper Race

Clipper Ventures will be offering expedition sailing to Greenland from summer 2022 as it unveils its new subsidiary, SKIRR Adventures. The company has also announced exhilarating big-boat racing, including the new Knox-Johnston Cup and an experiential sailing programme as it relaunches its Clipper Events business.

Set to offer expedition voyages to some of the planet’s most powerful and remote locations - by sea and land - SKIRR Adventures will meet the growing demand for adventure and unique experiences following long periods of lockdown.

SKIRR’s debut Arctic voyage, a 4,802 nautical mile long High Latitude Expedition split into five legs, will set off from Gosport, UK, on Friday 1 July 2022 bound for Iceland and Greenland via Scotland and the Faroe Islands. The full round-trip will take eight weeks to complete and adventurers can choose one leg, combine several stages, or complete all five.

SKIRR Adventures will meet the growing demand for adventure and unique experiences following long periods of lockdownSKIRR Adventures will meet the growing demand for adventure and unique experiences following long periods of lockdown

Once moored, there will be a chance to explore icescapes closer to shore and guides will lead day-expeditions ashore amongst some of the most imposing yet beautiful landscapes shaped by the forces of nature.

Chris Rushton, Principal of SKIRR Adventures, said: “SKIRR Adventures brings together the pioneering spirit that runs through each of Clipper Ventures’ entities. It will offer a new, accessible way to take part in a hands-on adventure expedition whilst being guided through some of the most imposing and powerful landscapes that very few people have the opportunity to explore.”

“Due to the nature of this expedition, some previous sailing experience is required to take part - this can be Clipper Race training, RYA Day Skipper or equivalent experience - however, training will be available to book in advance of the expedition, to those who are new to sailing.”

Experiential Sailing - sailing to GreenlandExperiential Sailing - sailing to Greenland

Clipper Events, sister company to Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, has re-invented its offering focusing on three new pillars; Experiential Sailing, Bespoke Events and an exhilarating Iconic Races big-boat racing programme, including a new sailing race, the Knox-Johnston Cup.

Says Laura Ayres, Clipper Ventures Head of Events and Partnerships: “This is a fresh start for Clipper Events, with a clear focus on experiences that draw on our heritage and expertise.

“In response to a post-pandemic desire for adventure, outdoor experiences and the corporate world’s need to reconnect with colleagues and clients, we have relaunched our Clipper Events programme. Taking part in big-boat racing, we’ll be offering competitive sailing action, giving access to iconic races, on board our own yachts. And with a 25 year history of introducing people to sailing for the first time, our experiential events, far removed from the workplace, will re-engage employees, bolster confidence, identify potential and develop leadership.

Clipper Ventures is the organiser of the Clipper Round The World Yacht RaceClipper Ventures is the organiser of the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race

The new Iconic Races programme enables teams and individuals to compete in world-renowned offshore races, lining up against some of the leading names in sailing, on board the purpose-built racing fleets of 68 and 70-foot yachts.

In addition to a jam-packed schedule of Round The Island Race 2022, Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland 2022 and RORC Fastnet 2023, the Iconic Races calendar will also include the Knox-Johnston Cup. The event, named in honour of Clipper Race Founder, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, will see teams race around the Isle of Wight with the added tactical racing features of the Clipper Race.

Clipper Events’ new Experiential Sailing programme focuses on reinvigorating professional leadership and development days, allowing guests to explore boundaries, take measured risks and develop team building whilst cementing relationships and forging new connections.

Under the guidance of a highly experienced professional skipper and first mate, the objective led programmes cater for teams of up to twelve per yacht to enjoy memorable corporate days like no other.

Bespoke Events open up the exhilaration of sailing on board an ocean racing yacht - for a day, a weekend, in a regatta, or private event. From industry regattas, educational, environmental or social programmes to TV filming and private charters, the experienced Clipper Events team is on hand to build a responsive, tailored solution.

Clipper Ventures is the organiser of the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race. It’s 2019-20 edition was suspended in 2020 due Covid-19 but will be restarting from Subic Bay, Philippines in March 2022.

Published in Clipper Race

With the ongoing global outbreak of Covid-19 and the enormous impact it has created on world travel, the Clipper 2019-20 Race has been postponed with immediate effect writes Karla Graves of the race organisers.

This decision has been in no way taken lightly. The crew are currently under quarantine in Subic Bay, Philippines, where the Clipper Race fleet has been berthed since Sunday 15 March. The island of Luzon (where Subic Bay is located) is currently under "enhanced community quarantine".

In addition, the fleet was due to race across the North Pacific Ocean from 21 March towards Seattle. However, with the city currently in a state of emergency and travel and medical insurance restrictions in the United States, we could not allow our teams to depart without a viable destination. This, along with the growing global uncertainty on how the situation could develop in the coming months, meant postponing the race was the safest option for all involved.

Our first priority, as soon as the local quarantine has been lifted, will be to assist our crew in Subic Bay in travelling home from the Philippines as swiftly as possible.

The Clipper 2019-20 Race has three legs remaining. These race stages will now be postponed for approximately ten months, when the remaining circumnavigation will be completed. This length of postponement allows for us to avoid adverse weather patterns on the remainder of our global route.

All Leg 6, 7 and 8 crew, along with our circumnavigators, will be able to rejoin the race when it resumes next year.

This postponement will have an impact on the timing of future races. The next full edition of the Clipper Race will start in the summer of 2022. More details on this will be confirmed at a later date.

We are extremely disappointed to postpone the remainder of the Clipper 2019-20 Race. We are proud of all of our intrepid crew for having competed in this race edition since it departed London and look forward to welcoming all of our upcoming crew next year when the race continues. We are also grateful to all of our crew, supporters and Race Partners for their continued support.

Published in Clipper Race

Now that the city of Derry’s legendary Halloween celebrations are over, all eyes are on July 2020 which will be a key date in the Derry/Londonderry calendar when, on Saturday 25th, the eleven 70-ft yachts in the Clipper Round the World Race are set to arrive in the city after a 2,850 nautical mile race across the Atlantic from Bermuda writes Betty Armstrong.

This is an endurance event which over eleven months amateur crews will cross six oceans and be tested to their absolute limit. With ages ranging from 18 to 76, the teams are made up of people from all walks of life, including doctors, homemakers, lawyers, builders, nurses, farmers, CEOS, and surf instructors.

The stopover is one of the most popular in the Round the World venture and will play a starring role in the acclaimed Foyle Maritime Festival which runs from Wednesday 29th July till Sunday 2nd August.

This is, of course, subject to funding. Everyone’s festival favourites are set to return to what is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland. Among dozens of attractions and events, will be the Foyle Merchant Market, Clipper Race Yacht Tours and excursions, on-water activities and taster sessions, the Science of Water, Showcase Spectacular, the Festival Bar and live music.

The approach to the city from the Tuns Buoy at the mouth of Lough Foyle, along the 20 mile stretch of water with the high land of Donegal on the starboard side and the lower coastlands of County Derry on the other, is a most attractive passage, passing Greencastle, Moville, the Foyle commercial port where increasing numbers of cruise liners dock and then under the huge Foyle Bridge to Foyle Port Marina right inside the city.
This is the fifth consecutive edition to feature Derry as a Host Port Partner, making it the most visited European city in the 23-year history of the event. The stopover in 2020 will herald almost a decade long partnership between Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Clipper Race. The relationship has seen the rejuvenation of the waterfront and continued growth of the Foyle Maritime Festival, and this has resulted in the city, its people and thousands of visitors engaging positively with a local and global community.

Clipper Race CEO, William Ward OBE, said: “We greatly value our partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council and are proud of the legacy we have built together over the past nine years.

“The Clipper Race crew are treated like friends wherever they go in Derry and it is hard to find a local who hasn’t come down to see our fleet at the Foyle Maritime Festival. Derry may not be on the same geographical scale as other Clipper Race destinations such as Cape Town and New York but its strong community pride and infectious sense of hospitality has consistently made it one of the most popular stopovers across all six continents we visit. In twenty years of working with global destinations, this partnership is one of our biggest success stories.”

Around 700 people from 44 different nationalities, including 26 from Northern Ireland and Ireland, are taking part in the Clipper 2019-20 Race. Derry will be the penultimate stop of the almost year-long circumnavigation and it is expected that as well as the current crews, past participants will also descend on what is arguably one of the biggest parties on the race circuit.

Founded in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who in April celebrated 50 years since becoming the first person to sail solo and non-stop around the world, the Clipper Race is the only event of its kind for non-professional sailors and is now entering its twelfth consecutive edition.

Published in Clipper Race

After almost eleven months and 40,000 nautical miles, Derry-Londonderry born Clipper Race Skipper Conall Morrison and Round the World Crew Member Roseann McGlinchey have returned home.

Although there is still one more race to go in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, this arrival felt like a homecoming as the pair and their teammates were cheered on by locals, supporters, family, and friends, who had lined the banks of the Foyle as the 70-foot ocean racing yacht joining the other Clipper Race teams at Derry-Londonderry’s Foyle Port Marina.

Conall said: “To arrive back in Derry-Londonderry is a big thing for me. I really couldn’t believe the welcome. A couple of boats came out to meet us at Greencastle and there were people lining the river.

“Some of my family were in Greencastle and my Mum and Dad were at Culmore Point and had banners which were really good. I can’t believe we are here, to be honest. It’s a strange feeling to me and it will take a few days for it to sink in I think.” 

Roseann, a 24-year-old Marketing Officer from Lifford, also had family to welcome her and admits it was an emotional homecoming.

She said: “It was a really cool experience coming down the Foyle and my friends and family were there on the water.

“We had a great celebration when we crossed the finish line and it’s a stopover that means a lot to the whole team, not just myself and Conall. Everyone on board feels like they are coming home so it was just a great feeling.” crossed the finish line in an area northeast of the entrance to Lough Foyle at 14.56.10 UTC to complete the 3,000 nautical mile race across the Atlantic Ocean, the fast-paced sixth and final ocean crossing of the eleven-month circumnavigation, in just over 14 days.

“As a crew, we are pumped to be here,” said Conall.

“There will be so much to do and everyone’s really looking forward to seeing the sights and sharing our experience with the people of Derry-Londonderry.”

The Foyle Maritime Festival, which begins on Saturday 14 July, is particularly important for Roseann. Her Clipper Race journey began after watching the fleet come into Derry-Londonderry for the inaugural festival in 2012.

She said: “The Foyle Maritime Festival always brings a lot of excitement to the city. The council always goes all out for it and make the city look beautiful. The city has adopted the Clipper Race as part of the festival and it’s really nice to be such a big part of that.”

The Clipper Race is unique in that it trains non-professionals to be ocean faring sailors. Established in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo, non-stop around the world, 40 per cent of Clipper Race crew have no previous sailing experience before signing up and undergoing the compulsory four weeks of training.

In total, 711 people representing 42 different nationalities and from all walks of life are taking part in the 40,000 nautical mile Clipper 2017-18 Race. In Leg 8, the Visit Seattle crew represent six different nationalities - Netherlands, UK, France, Germany, USA, Canada – with the ages ranging from 66 to 26.

The Derry-Londonderry Stopover is a much-anticipated stop on the global Clipper Race circuit, with the crew given a starring role in the award-winning Foyle Maritime Festival. Over the next fortnight, locals and visitors to Derry-Londonderry will be able to get up close to the 70-foot ocean racing yachts and take part in an exciting programme of diverse events in celebration of the Clipper Race crew and their adventurous spirit.

The Foyle Maritime Festival will come to an end when the Clipper Race fleet departs for the final race to Liverpool on Sunday 22 July. The circumnavigation will come to an end at the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool on July 28.

Published in Clipper Race

After more than ten months and over 35,000 nautical miles, the final of eight legs of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race is set to begin with a race across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Derry-Londonderry.

The eleven teams have battled hurricane force winds, waves up to 14 metres, crossed five oceans and visited 12 Host Ports on six different continents, but the end is now in sight, with the 3,000 nautical mile sprint from New York to Derry-Londonderry the twelfth of thirteen races that make up the 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation.

The Clipper Race is unique in that it trains non-professionals to be ocean faring sailors, and six crew members from Ireland and Northern Ireland, plus a Skipper from Derry-Londonderry, are now preparing to come home – just in time to headline the Foyle Maritime Festival in Derry-Londonderry.

Conall Morrison, 36, Skipper of

Becoming a Clipper Race Skipper was always a dream for Conall, and he has certainly made his mark, winning the Clipper 70 Class of the prestigious Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which doubles as Race 5 of the Clipper 2017-18 Race. The saw Conall awarded the Rani Trophy for Most Meritorious Performance and shortlisted for the 20172017 Irish Sailor of the Year Award. Before taking on the challenge of the Clipper Race, Conall was the Skipper of Tectona for the Voyage of Recovery – a twelve week, 1,500 nautical mile voyage around Great Britain to aid people in their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Conall says racing into his home town of Derry-Londonderry will be one of the proudest moments of his career. 

Anthony Barlow, 56, Dublin, Occupational Therapist, Leg 8,

Anthony is an experienced and qualified sailor and sails up to three times a week out of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. Anthony isn't afraid of a challenge - he worked in IT until going back to school at age of 42 to become an Occupational Therapist. This involved four years of tough study, plus hospital placements, but he worked hard to achieve his goal and has been working in his new profession since 2008. Anthony is doing the race to challenge himself and improve sailing skills.

Mary Frawley, 51, Tipperary/Dublin, Nurse, Full Circumnavigation,

The idea of a circumnavigation has always been a dream Mary and the Nurse from Tipperary describes the ClipperRace as the adventure of a lifetime. Mary spent much of the '90s sailing, completing both her coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster qualifications, and also worked on the water, including six weeks as a cook and deckhand on board a prawn fishing trawler off the north coast of Australia.

John Gannon, 62, Parkgate, Cheshire, UK, Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medical Consultant, Legs 5, 6, 7, 8,

John grew up sailing and his teens he crewed with the Irish STA ships ASGARD and CREIDNE on a number of voyages around Britain and Ireland. As he got older, life, and his medical training, got in the way but since deciding a few years ago to work part time as a medical consultant specialising in anaesthesia and critical care medicine, John decided to return to sailing in the most adventurous way possible - the Clipper Race. His four legs will see him race across the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, as he journeys 22,000 nautical miles from Qingdao in China to the Race Finish in Liverpool.

Roseann McGlinchey, 24, Lifford, Marketing Officer, Full Circumnavigation,

Roseann has undergone a huge transformation during her time on the ClipperRace, graduating from a complete sailing novice to a Watch Leader in her Her love affair with the Clipper Race began six years ago in Derry-Londonderry when she saw the fleet arrive at the city’s inaugural Foyle Maritime Festival. After visiting the festival every year while studying in the Northern Irish city, Roseann wanted to view the celebrations from a different view this year – arriving on board a Clipper 70. Roseann's goal for the race was to grow her strength as an individual and she brings a lot of optimism and good cheer to team. 

April Rellis, 37, Waterford, Teacher, Full Circumnavigation,

April, a teacher from Waterford, decided to join the Clipper Race after seeing the fleet during the Foyle Martime Festival in Derry-Londonderry in 2014. Whilst she wasn't a sailor before the race, April has always enjoyed an active life on the water - she was a national level swimmer and is now a Windsurfing instructor. April is the Team Coordinator on board, a position she jokes that she prepared for by teaching primary school children for years. April's mother Máirín has had her own adventure over the past year, travelling to many of the Clipper Race host ports to fulfil her role as HotelPlanner.comcheerleader-in-chief.

Katherine Sheehan, 47, Dublin, Doctor, Leg 8,

By taking part in the Clipper Race, Katherine is fulfilling a lifelong dream of crossing an ocean under sail. Katherine has been interested in sailing since she was young but switched to windsurfing in her teens. A return to sailing in recent years has only fuelled Katherine’s desire to take on an adventure like the Clipper Race and will be able to wave to her home in Dublin as she races through the Irish Sea to Race Finish in Liverpool.

Published in Clipper Race Skipper Conall Morrison from Derry-Londonderry has edged out fellow Clipper Round the World Yacht Race competitor PSP Logistics for fourth place in the 5,600 nautical marathon across the North Pacific Ocean.

Some 28 days after setting off from Qingdao in China, Conall and his team crossed the finish line off the northwest coast of the USA at 09:58:46 UTC on Friday 20 April, less than 5 minutes ahead of the fifth placed PSP Logistics.

On the result, Conall said: “This Leg across the North Pacific Ocean has definitely been one of our best.

“It is hard to know where the performance comes from but our evolutions are now smoother and known by each round the world crew member and after eight months together and almost 30,000 nautical miles, we've had the confidence to try new things like peeling spinnakers and we've been close enough to other boats, especially in the beginning, to see how it pays off when all goes well.”

The race from Qingdao to Seattle, the ninth of thirteen races that makes up the Clipper Race circuit, included the toughest conditions faced so far in this eleventh edition of the biennial ocean adventure.

Following a light wind battle off the coast of Japan, which added nearly a week onto the overall time spent at sea, the eleven Clipper Race teams experienced a ‘Phenomenal Sea State’, which saw the fleet battle waves of over 14 metres and hurricane force gusts of up to 80 knots. The skill and preparedness of Conall and his fellow Skippers ensured all emerged the front unscathed, and also set up some incredible racing, with the 70-foot ocean racing yachts reaching record speeds of up to 35 knots.

On the team’s good progress in the tough conditions, Conall commented: “Before the start, we decided to put a weather and tactics group together and this has helped to make decisions when faced with options. It seems from here that the team has made a lot of good calls.”

As well as the Skipper, there are six Irish crew members on board, including round the world crew member and Watch Leader Roseann McGlinchey, a 24-year-old Marketing Officer from Derry-Londonderry.

Despite racing across such an immense distance across the world’s biggest ocean, the final day of racing went down to the wire, with second to sixth place separated by just 8 nautical miles.

A wind hole just over the finish line made it slow going but Conall and his team navigated the light and variable winds brilliantly to finish ahead of PSP Logistics.

The race was won by Qingdao which crossed the finish line at 22:27 UTC on Thursday 19 April. Fellow Chinese entry Sanya Serenity Coast was second, whilst Unicef took third.

The full Clipper 2017-18 Race fleet is expected to have arrived at Seattle by Monday 22 April. The fleet will be berthed at Bell Harbor Marina until the first race of the US Coast-to-Coast Leg 7 from Seattle to Panama begins on Sunday 29 April.

Seattle is the tenth out of thirteen stops on the global 40,000 nautical mile Clipper Race circuit which began in Liverpool, UK, in August 2017. The race will return to Derry-Londonderry four a fourth time in July and will once again feature in the award-winning Foyle Maritime Festival, which takes place between 14 – 22 July 2018. The Clipper Race fleet will depart from Derry-Londonderry on 22 July 2018 for the final segment of the 2017-18 edition of the race, which will officially finish at Liverpool’s historic Albert Dock on Saturday 28 July 2018.

Published in Clipper Race

It’s been less than one month since the Clipper Race Yacht Greenings ran aground on the opening day of Race 3: The Dell Latitude Rugged Race. Whilst the rest of the fleet has now completed the race into Fremantle, Western Australia, the salvage operation to remove the yacht from the Cape Peninsula is also now close to completion.

At the time of the incident on 31 October 2017, all crew were quickly and safely evacuated from the yacht by local rescue services, the NSRI, with no injuries reported. After being contracted by the Clipper Race, Navalmartin, the Casualty Management Service provider of the Clipper Race’s insurers, promptly dispatched local Admiralty Expert and Surveyor, Peter Brinkley from Cape Town and instructed a salvage team to assess the situation and attempt the salvage of the yacht in the first crucial hours.

At this stage pollution control was of paramount importance for the team, so immediate action was taken to minimise any risk and remove fuel from on board whilst attempting to overcome the ingress of sand within the hull.

Following careful coordinated analysis of the situation by all interests and reviewing the state of the yacht (CV24) over the following 48 hours, it was unfortunately decided that the vessel would take no further action in the Clipper 2017-18 Race, and subsequently that it was beyond repair and would be assigned to be removed by appointed salvors.

The removal contract was awarded to The Subtech Group/Ardent who specialise in the provision of world class marine services, including salvage projects throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. With an operating base in Cape Town, a team were quickly mobilised working with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the casualty management team to oversee the clean-up operation and wreck removal.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston explained: “Once the assessment had been made that the vessel was not repairable, our aim was very clear, we needed to deal with the situation quickly with the priority of minimising environmental impact and returning the beach to its original state. That was vitally important.”

Explaining the initial priority, Peter Brinkley, Chief Engineer attending on behalf of Navalmartin, the Clipper Race and its insurers, says: “The first task was to remove all the diesel fuel from the tanks. This was done quickly and no spillages occurred.

On the work that has been done over the past weeks, Peter adds: “We faced a number of early challenges to the removal which included obtaining access to the beach as it is in a very remote location, and also a bush fire started in the surrounding veld part way through the operation which delayed efforts for a few days.

“It was a priority to work quickly, the varying weather conditions only gave us small windows of time to carry out the task at hand. Time was working against us: We had to deal with the incessant influx of sand at high water brought in by the breaking waves and exacerbated by bad weather. We have to deal with the added challenge that no vehicles would be allowed though the reserve to access or move the yacht.”

“Subtech opted to erect a tower made of scaffolding material to support the mast before we could start cutting the hull up from the forward and aft sections, dismantling components on board, and removing the engine, as the work progressed. The removed hull pieces were transferred into cargo nets and loaded onto a truck for disposal.”

“We had some pretty big swells along the coast whilst the work was underway which did hamper the efforts significantly at times. At one point the waves reached four metres and battered the yacht, undercutting the scaffolding which sank approximately 400mm.”

“The current situation is that the mast has now been lowered gently by using the scaffolding tower. Only the keel and some of the bottom and port side shell remain, and they are buried in the sand, however we expect these final parts to be removed in the coming days and the beach will then be restored.”

“Much of the hull and deck gear has already been air-lifted away from the site.”

Speaking about the loss of CV24, Sir Robin says: “She had completed two round the world voyages, one of which she was the winner, as LMAX Exchange, and had an unbeaten streak in the 2017-18 race.

“Many of our crew called her home and will have some long-lasting memories of their time on board. She was also an important member of the Clipper Race team and of course it’s always just desperately sad to see a fine vessel finish its story like this.”

Whilst CV24 is no longer a Clipper Race participant, the story thankfully does not end there for her crew as in true supportive race style, the rest of the Clipper Race teams will all welcome various Greenings crew aboard to continue their remaining race legs.

A full MAIB / MCA investigation is currently underway into the reasons for the grounding and the Clipper Race shall publish the findings as and when they are available.

Published in Clipper Race
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