Derry~Londonderry~Doire Race 4 Start ( Photo courtesy of the Clipper Race)

Derry~Londonderry~Doire Race 4 Start ( Photo courtesy of the Clipper Race)

Derry~Londonderry~Doire is diverting to Hobart in Tasmania for a medevac of an injured crewman as a precautionary measure.

Skipper Daniel Smith contacted the Race Office at 1030 AEDT today (2330 UTC Tuesday 8 December) to report that round-the-world crew member Michael Gaskin, 54, from the West Midlands, UK, had sustained suspected broken ribs after he fell by the helming position when a wave broke over the back of the yacht in rough seas and 35 knots wind, approximately 130 nautical miles to the southwest of Tasmania.

Team Medics Ali Boeree and Jan Chatzis administered first aid while the Skipper contacted ClipperTelemed+, the Clipper Race remote telemedicine service. Doctors at the Praxes operations centre in Halifax, Canada, confirmed diagnosis and directed the provision of pain relief and anti-nausea medication.

Due to the proximity of Hobart and the rough conditions, the Skipper has decided to divert as a precaution so that Michael can be treated ashore. The team will continue the race to Sydney once Michael has been transferred to hospital.

Mike Gaskin (Photo © onEdition)

Mike Gaskin (Photo © onEdition)
Clipper crew member Mike Gaskin

“The Skipper reports that Mike is in a stable condition and is receiving pain relief,” explained Race Director Justin Taylor. “The conditions were quite challenging at the time. Mike was clipped on behind the high side helm. The low side helm took over to allow Mike to step in. A breaking wave broke over the side of cockpit and Mike says he hit the pushpit and heard his ribs crunch. He was then washed into the A frame and sustained a small cut to his head. He was stopped by his safety tether. This was the first breaking wave into the boat the team had experienced, although they had a lot of spray.”

Water breaking over the deck is very powerful. A cubic metre of water weighs a metric tonne.

This is the first medevac of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, the tenth edition of the biennial global series, the world’s longest ocean race at more than 40,000 miles, taking 11 months to race between six continents. Only a handful of the 3300 amateur sailors who have participated over the last 19 years have had to be evacuated, the majority as a precaution following medical treatment aboard.

Michael’s next of kin has been informed. Everyone else aboard is safe and well.

Michael is an experienced yachtsman, holding a Day Skipper qualification and had previously sailed around Scotland, the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean.

The yacht is estimated to reach Hobart around 1000 AEDT tomorrow (Thursday) morning 10 December (2300 UTC 9 December).

Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew in Albany (Photo courtesy of the Clipper Race)

Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew in Albany (Photo courtesy of the Clipper Race)

Thomas Ruyant, Winner Mini Transat 650 (Photo by Denis van den Brink / GPO)

Thomas Ruyant, Winner Mini Transat 650 (Photo by Denis van den Brink / GPO)

Doing little jumps, a carnival hat from his hometown Dunkerque on his head, crying, Thomas Ruyant (Faber France) made a grand entrance in the Marina of Bahia. In front of the pack of journalists in a big smile, he started: “I do not like it too much and I do not know what to say in those moments. It was a great feeling when I crossed the finish line. A great moment of happiness.”

Thomas Ruyant (Faber France) has just cut the line of the second leg of The Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6,50. His journey between Funchal and Bahia was 18 days 20 hours and 16 minutes long at a speed of 6.92 knots on average.

After a good caïpirinha, Thomas still very moved talked about his race: “The difference, I work on it for two years. Two years of work to achieve this. We stayed in contact with Schipman and Delesne and it was really nice. We spoke to the VHF. But it is so difficult this Transat. Crossing the Atlantic on such boats is not really effortless.”

And he says: “I talked every day to my boat. I know her qualities and imperfections. She answered to all my expectations. I really took risks in the Doldrums. I was constantly at the helm saying, after there you will beat and you will rest. I really did not let go. I sometimes used my spinnaker even when I met with a squall. At this point I have gradually widened the gap. Then I made the crossing at top speed by helming almost all the time.”

We bring him fruits and caïpirinha. He is pleased: “That, that is missing. Food. That is so good. Now, what I want is to eat well, be with family and friends and… sleep on my belly. ”

What is the Mini Transat?  Racing school,  first step to become a professional skipper, life’s adventure,  having the will to live  closest to the ocean for over a month of sailing.  The challenge of vanquishing the sun, solitude, thirst, hunger and fear of sailing without any external assistance, accustom the body to sleep by 20 minutes slots, optimize a 4m3 ” flat ” with an ocean view, kitchen, bedroom, and integrated toilets… The Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6, 50 is all that and remains THE out of the common race.

They all participated and admit that the transatlantic is the 1st world’s race to start single-handed racing. That race is subtitled: ” Get your Mini first! “It must be said that the predecessors are famous ones and the list of registrants can get you dizzy: Ellen Mc Arthur, Isabelle Autissier, Catherine Chabaud, Yves Parlier, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, Michel Desjoyaux, Loïck and Bruno Peyron, Yvan and Laurent Bourgnon, Roland Jourdain, Sébastien Josse, Thomas Coville, Lionel Lemonchois, Halvard Mabire… They are all here! ” On water, I really learned what solitude is because I had no way to communicate. When I finished the race I realized that I had made it by myself as a real solo guy and that everything had been fine without asking myself any questions. We become tough to pain… And crazy “, Thierry Dubois, winner in 1993 on Amnesty International.

 Thirty-two years after the race was created, the 17th edition of The Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6,50  fleet  began  racing to Salvador de Bahia (Brazil). Previously known as Mini-Transat, this now legendary event brings together every two years, skippers of all backgrounds, (small ones, large ones and future large ones) in a spirit made of solidarity, and mutual respect with all nationalities represented! The Charente Maritime / Bahia Transat 6.50 race is the most international solo race with no less than 12 nationalities represented. This 17th edition will bring together American, Australian, English, Spanish, Italian, Swiss, South African, French, German, Portuguese, Norwegian and Brazilian…

 Impressive! Really impressive to see the power of the Finot-Conq and the control of the skipper who is now 65 miles away from the second HP Schipman (Maisons de l’avenir-Urbatys). With in his wake, Francois Cuinet (Plan Jardin); François that continues to push his Plan Bouvet 2002, but that can only observe the maestro, the young and talented Thomas. He is now 74 miles behind! And it continues with the two plans Manuard launched at 12.53 knots for Bertrand Delesne (Entreprendre durablement) and 12.33 knots for Stéphane Le Diraison (Cultisol-Marins sans frontières). That have to do something, it is now or never, and they know it.
Yet, the accordion played its favourite tune once more out of the Doldrums and Thomas managed to establish almost 100 miles between him and the 5th…