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.
“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).
Close competitive racing in the first leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race from London to Rio has been overshadowed this week by the death of a crew member in what appears to be a tragic accident.
Having safely navigated the Bay of Biscay, increasing wind speeds propelled the fleet along the Portuguese coast. But as the team aboard IchorCoal put in a reef to reduce sail area one of the crew was knocked unconscious and failed to recover despite immediate medical assistance and expert remote guidance.
Andy Ashman, a paramedic from South East London was an experienced sailor and described as being typical of the ‘Corinthian’ Clipper Race spirit. He was an inspiration to the rest of his team of amateur sailors from all walks of life.
This was the first fatality in the 19-year history of the race which has trained over 3300 people to participate safely in nine previous editions of the biennial global event.
The news of the incident was received soberly across the fleet and tributes were paid by many who had trained alongside Andrew.
Messages of support from his family and friends encouraged the team to continue as it is ‘what Andy would have wanted’.
While the team aboard IchorCoal went ashore at Porto, in northern Portugal, the Clipper Race fleet paid their respects, flew their Red Ensigns at half mast, and raced on as the most fitting tribute.
At the front of the fleet the duel continued between GREAT Britain and LMAX Exchange. But the two have now split with LMAX Exchange taking a clear lead of more than 160 nautical miles closer to the finish in Rio after taking better winds further east, racing through the Canary Islands and then close to the West Saharan coast.
The leaderboard has seen some considerable changes over the last 24 hours, as the teams made their tactical decisions on whether to pass between the Canary Islands and take more of an inshore route, or leave them to port.
Get it wrong and you are caught in the wind shadow of the huge volcanic mountains that extend for more than 100 miles out to sea, creating a major headache as the Skippers seek out the more steady Trade Winds.
The Northern Irish entry Derry~Londonderry~Doire is neck-and-neck with GREAT Britain further west, but they could be overtaken by Qingdao and Garmin hoping to copy the LMAX Exchange manoeuvre through the Canaries.
Derry~Londonderry~Doire led the race for a time on Tuesday. Skipper Daniel Smith explained: “The day was spent gybing down a narrow band of wind trying to keep the boat moving and achieve the best speeds downwind. By 1800UTC we got the result we were looking for. For the first time since leaving the Thames we were back in first place.
“This was a great achievement from the crew despite them knowing it probably wouldn’t last for long. LMAX Exchange has put itself further east, and was approaching a band of stronger steadier winds. Our plan of squeezing through west of Madeira hadn’t worked out as well as we’d hoped due to the wind strength decreasing.
“We are continuing to fight our way south into what should be an ever-increasing wind, keeping an eye on the positions of more easterly yachts and hoping that they don’t all manage to slot in in front of us.”
The fleet is spread over some 500 nautical miles with around 4000 nautical miles of racing still ahead of it.
In Porto the team of IchorCoal was met by Clipper Race officials led by founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.
After time to reflect they came to the unanimous joint decision to continue racing and return to sea as soon as possible.
Andrew’s brother Keith Ashman flew out to reinforce the family’s support for the team’s decision and waved them off as they headed out to resume racing.
On the broad transom at the stern of their 70-foot ocean racing yacht the team wrote “For Andy. Roger that!” One of Andy’s favourite responses.
The team has been awarded redress for the incident to compensate the time lost. The Race Committee has decided to award a time redress of 81 hours and 1 minute to IchorCoal. This is calculated on the time from the accident until the yacht commenced racing of 85 hours and 52 minutes, less the time the yacht gained by re-starting 41.2 miles further along the race course, which, at their average speed at the time of the accident of 8.7 knots, is 4 hours and 51 minutes.
This 81 hours and 1 minute will be deducted from IchorCoal’s finishing time in Rio de Janeiro to give the team’s overall position on Race 1.
As a lasting tribute the Atlantic Ocean Sprint, a short section of the race track off the Brazilian coast where extra points are awarded for the fastest team between two points, will be named in Andy’s honour. The fastest team will receive a special trophy, the ‘Andy Ashman Memorial Plate’ in Rio and it will continue to be awarded in future editions of the Clipper Race.
As at 1400 UTC (1500 UK/BST) the fleet positions were as follows:
1 LMAX Exchange – 3542 nM to finish
2 GREAT Britain
6 Da Nang – Viet Nam
9 PSP Logistics
10 Visit Seattle
11 + Mission Performance
31 AUGUST 2015
|And they’re off!! The Clipper 2015-16 Race is officially underway after a wet but wonderful start off the English coastal town of Southend.
For some crew, it felt like this day would never come after all the months of training and week of anticipation and excitement in the Race Village at St Katharine Docks, London.
The send-off yesterday was phenomenal, with crew past, present and future, plus tens of thousands of race supporters lining the banks of the River Thames for the Parade of Sail – and not forgetting everyone in the spectator boats on the water. Thank you for making the day so special for all the crew, Skippers and the Clipper Race family.
From the Brazilian dancers to drummers performing up the mast, it was a day to remember and the perfect start to this great adventure. Tower Bridge lifted twice for the fleet’s Parade of Sail with GREAT Britain leading the way out of its home port of London.
Amid all the celebrations and party atmosphere, there was a poignant moment during the Blessing of the Fleet when the Sailors’ Society Chaplain read from a bible that Visit Seattle will be taking round the world. This bible was a gift from Sir Robin to Skipper Huw Fernie’s grandfather before his own circumnavigation many years ago. Now Huw and Visit Seattle have the bible on board for its second round the world voyage, as a tribute to his grandfather.
There was also our first Clipper 2015-16 Race proposal! As Mission Performance took to the stage on the Main Pontoon during the farewell ceremony, a cry came out from the crowd, Ali Hudson burst into tears on the stage and as everyone looked up, her partner John Dyer waved a poster that said “Ali, will you marry me?!”
Now, back to the sailing…
Race 1 got underway at 1130 UTC and was broadcast live by our Director of Communications Jonathan Levy using Periscope. To watch this video and the interviews with Sir Robin, Race Director Justin Taylor and Deputy Race Director Mark Light, click here. This is a new app that the communications team will be using in Host Ports throughout the race and it allows us to broadcast live footage from our mobile phones. When this is happening alerts and reminders will be sent out from our Clipper Race Twitter account.
A cannon was fired by officials from Benfleet Yacht Club to mark the start of the tenth edition of the Clipper Race and LMAX Exchange, led by our first ever French Skipper Olivier Cardin, was the first yacht over the start line. It was quickly followed by GREAT Britain and Da Nang – Viet Nam on this 5,186 nautical mile journey to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For the full story click here.
Tomorrow we will be sending out the first daily report from the first day’s racing. These will be sent to you every day while the fleet is at sea until the twelfth yacht arrives into each Host Port. The daily updates will then begin again the day after the next race starts.
We have many ways for you to keep up to date with the race, not least is using our Race Viewer. So for details on how you can be kept up to speed, please click here.
Hundreds of amateur sailors assembled in Portsmouth Guildhall today to discover which team and professional skipper they will be sailing with later this year in the world’s longest ocean race. They will be competing in the tenth edition of the biennial Clipper Round the World Yacht Race which departs from London on 30 August.
Clipper Race crew, who will spend up to eleven months traversing the world’s most challenging oceans, came to Portsmouth from all over the world, including North America, China, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico and across Europe, together with a strong contingent from across the UK.
The twelve teams were addressed by legendary yachtsman, Clipper Race founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, with encouraging words about the challenge and adventure that lies ahead. He commented afterwards: “This is where final preparations for the race of their lives begins. Most of the crew have almost completed their training but now they can start to develop their strategies and dynamics as a team.”
The global appeal of the Clipper Race continues to grow, with crew joining the 2015-16 edition from Lebanon, Latvia and Colombia for the first time. Lebanese crew member Moussa Tawil flew into the UK via Doha and Istanbul to find out who he would be sharing his round-the-world adventure with: “I’m super excited about the whole thing. Today is quite significant as I’m sharing thoughts on tactics and finding out more about what role I’d like to play on board.
“I see this as an opportunity to test myself and think I’ll manage well. I’d like to be part of a really fun crew. When I first signed up I didn’t think much about winning, but the training has made me think more about what needs to be done to win this race.”
The Clipper Race is a unique event; it is the only ocean race to give amateur sailors the opportunity to sail around the world and at 40,000 miles it’s the longest around the planet. Many are complete novices before embarking on their extensive training and over 600 international crew will sail one or more of eight legs around the world, with around a quarter achieving the ultimate sailing experience of a full circumnavigation.
Sir Robin added: “It is important to remember that Mother Nature does not make allowances and the more the crew learn about seamanship, the safer they will be and the more they will enjoy the adventure. Over the next year they will all gain more experience and mileage in their log books than the average sailor gets in years. It will be fantastic at times, frustrating at others, but overall it will be a life fulfilling experience they will never forget.”
For the first time there will be two female skippers in the race, Wendy Tuck from Australia and Diane Reid from Canada. There will also be the first French skipper, Olivier Cardin and the first Ukrainian-German skipper, Igor Gotlibovych. At 27 years old, Igor is the youngest of this edition’s skippers and his team will represent the Chinese Olympic sailing city of Qingdao.
Igor says: “I feel very proud to be representing Qingdao. I was born in Ukraine, grew up in Germany and have lived in England for the last eight years, so there are many places that I can call home and now I can add Qingdao to that list.
“I am thrilled to finally be allocated my crew. I have met some of them during their Clipper Race training but of course we did not know we would be racing around the world together in the same team. We are a cosmopolitan bunch with people from all over the world who are very excited to get to know each other and to building on Qingdao’s legacy in competitive sailing.”
The crew come from vastly different backgrounds and professions but all have a thirst for adventure. The Clipper Race is regarded as one of the hardest endurance challenges on the ocean and races between six continents over eleven months. The organisers provide twelve identically matched 70-foot yachts, that made their debut to the race in 2013, and each team is allocated to avoid any one crew having an unfair advantage. It is ultimately down to how each team develops and how well they sail that will ultimately determine the winner of the Clipper Race Trophy with maximum points at the end of the race. Each team will represent a destination, organisation or brand.
Followers of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race can look forward to some exciting and exhilarating racing. The departure ceremony takes place in London on Sunday 30 August.
The Clipper Race fleet will now arrive in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland from 23-24 June.
The synoptic situation is very complicated for the fleet, currently in the middle of four different weather systems of weak pressure gradients and light winds that need to be negotiated.
Amidst the changeable conditions, this kind of weather is very hard to predict meaning that a lot of the current tactical play is gut instinct combined with guesswork to try and cross the ridge.
There is also a blocking high pressure system sitting just west of Ireland that remains in place and will cause the fleet a significant detour either north or east.
Current leader Jamaica Get All Right, who has came out of Stealth Mode still in first position, has headed further north with a north/south divide starting to occur amongst the fleet as the boats try and get in the best position to deal with the difficult conditions.
Jan Ridd, skipper of Team Garmin, currently in sixth, said: “The next few days will be very interesting in this race as we see the different boats’ tactics as we all leave one weather system and face decisions of the best course to follow as we will no longer be able to sail directly towards the finish. Already you can see boats taking different courses, trying to be in the best position when the wind shifts.”
Matt Mitchell, skipper of Mission Performance, in tenth, added: “Our easterly course saw us plummet down the leaderboard which coupled with not going very far over the last few hours is slightly depressing, though the whole fleet should have light airs to contend with at some time or another over the next 24 hours.”
The Clipper Race fleet will now arrive in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland from 23-24 June.
Due tofour differentweather systemsaffecting the fleet in the 2850 mile transatlantic crossing, the current leader Jamaica Get All Right, if it maintains an average speed of 7 knots, is expected to arrive in Derry-Londonderry midday on Monday 23 June. The rest of the fleet is expected to arrive by late Tuesday 24 June.
Race Director, Justin Taylor, explains the synoptic systems which are affecting the fleet’s progress:The weather is very complicated at the moment with four different weather systems affecting the fleet. There is low pressure over the Iberian Peninsula and also a low north west of this centred south of Greenland.
“There is high pressure south west of the fleet and of course high pressure to the north east over Ireland which is giving the UK warm weather at the moment. The fleet is generally sandwiched between all four systems where there is light fluky wind and probably will be so for at least a further 24 to 36 hours. This will produce low boat speeds. As they head further
It’s been one of the toughest legs of the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, but crossing the finish line, even in the dark, under San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, is a moment to savour after 5600 miles of ocean racing across the mighty Pacific
GREAT Britain crossed the finish line of Race 10 in the 16 stage global series at 21:42:56 local time (UTC-7) on April 9 to take line honours ahead of rival Henri Lloyd who slipped back into second place around 1.30pm local time today.
Henri Lloyd crossed the line two hours later at 23:45 local time. A battle had ensued for the last five days between Henri Lloyd and GREAT Britain with the teams both alternating between first, second and third place on the leader board.
Invest Africa crossed the line at 05:26am local time on April 10 taking the third line honours place.
All results are provisional and the final positions will be confirmed by the race office after redress is applied. Simon Talbot, skipper of GREAT Britain, said: “We have had a very good race with Eric and Henri Lloyd, its always great to have someone to spar against. It’s no fun if you are 500 miles ahead. It’s a real sense of achievement battling it out. Coming out of the windhole yesterday I just couldn’t see how we would claw it back.
“They managed to pull 15 miles on us by running inshore, then we pulled it back by running deeper and came in first under the bridge. I know Eric will be very pleased with his team’s performance and he has had a very fine race with a crew of 13. We had a crew of 18 and we worked really hard.
“This was not the Pacific crossing that it was billed to be. We had no storms, we had no frontal systems passing over but the wind was gusting at 50 knots at times and we love sailing in that. We had a very fast downwind race and had 20 days of sunshine – that is what you call luck.
“There is a constant battle in a long race like this to keep performance up, but the crew like winning so it is easy for my crew to get out of bed each watch.”
Henri Lloyd skipper Eric Holden said his team had fought with GREAT Britain right to the bitter end for several races in a row now.
“It was their turn this time and they got the better of us. We tried as hard as we could but we just got a little tired towards the end. It was a long race and you can’t push full on the whole time, so you have to pick when you really go for it and when you sit back a bit. You could tell a lot of boats did that and we found the right times.”
A British man was rescued from the Pacific Ocean in the early hours of this morning after falling overboard during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew member, Andrew Taylor (46) from London went over the side at 00.43 BST last night in rough weather and was sighted again at 01.55 BST before being recovered at approx. 02.13 BST this morning (13.13 local time, 30 March).
The incident happened in rough weather with 35 knots of wind and clear visibility, during a sail change in daylight on day 14 of Race 10 in the 16 stage Clipper Race which is currently heading for San Francisco, USA from Qingdao, China.
The yacht’s professional Skipper Sean McCarter (32) from Derry Londonderry reported that he was working with Andrew on a sail change near the bow when he went over the side. Sean immediately went back to the helm, stopped the yacht and initiated the MOB (man overboard) procedure.
Race Director Justin Taylor explained: “In these conditions a man overboard is swept away from the boat very quickly and visual contact can be lost in the swell. We have a well-rehearsed procedure to mark the position, stop racing and engaged the engine to search for and recover the crew member as quickly as possible.
“An hour and a half is a very long time to be in the water in these conditions but a combination of his sea survival training and seven months at sea as well as wearing a life jacket and dry suit will have contributed enormously to his survival.”
Nearly 4,000 people have taken part in the event which includes an extensive pre-race training programme and the organisers are fully committed to safety and maintaining their excellent record.
“The sea can be a harsh environment and we rehearse every eventuality including a man overboard (MOB),” stated Clipper Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. “The MOB procedures were put into practice flawlessly by the crew in difficult conditions. It is a tribute to their training and determination that Andrew was successfully recovered. It is always a concern when we have a major incident and we will want to analyse the circumstances in detail to see if there is anything we need to learn or review as a result.”
Following his recovery, Andrew was taken below decks for treatment by the on board medic, crew member Susie Redhouse (42) also from London, who is a paramedic clinical tutor. She reports he is suffering from shock and may have hypothermia. His condition is being monitored closely, but he appears to be in relatively good spirits and is talking with fellow crew members.
A competing team in the fleet of twelve identical 70-foot ocean racing yachts OneDLL responded to the mayday call and diverted course to render assistance as the closest yacht to Derry~Londonderry~Doire. Falmouth and US Coast Guard services were contacted and have now been stood down. Both boats have resumed racing.
This is only the fourth ever incident in the Clipper Race’s eighteen year history that someone has had to be recovered from the water. In both previous incidents, the crew members were recovered within minutes.
Sea safety is a fundamental practice of the Clipper Race. Before joining their boats all crew members must complete an extensive, four stage sailing and sea safety training course, including sea survival. This includes highly detailed instruction and practice of man overboard (MOB) procedure. All yachts are equipped with special MOB dummies and regularly rehearse search and recovery practice throughout the race.
The Pacific leg, between China and the US, is the tenth of sixteen stages which comprise the world’s longest ocean race at more than 40,000 miles. The fleet is just over the half way stage of the 5,600 mile race to San Francisco. The first boats are expected to finish under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge on 11 April. The Clipper 2013-14 Race left London on 1 September 2013 and returns to St Katharine Docks next to Tower Bridge on Saturday 12 July 2014.
LD YACHT RACE
The Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race started Sunday, 1 September from St Katharine Docks London, and will return almost a year later after completing the 40,000 miles route, making it the world’s longest ocean race.
The event was established in 1995 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to give everyone, regardless of sailing experience, the opportunity to discover the exhilaration of ocean racing. 670 people representing more than 40 nations will compete in the Clipper 13-14 Race on twelve brand new 70-foot yachts designed by renowned naval architect Tony Castro.
The overall race is divided into sixteen individual stages. Since leaving London, teams have raced via Brest, France, Rio de Janiero, Cape Town, Albany in Western Australia, Sydney, Hobart, Brisbane, Singapore, Hong Kong and Qingdao, China. After completing a brief stopover in San Francisco, the fleet will continue to Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry Londonderry and Dan Helder, The Netherlands. Points are accumulated in a Formula 1-style scoring system. The yacht with the highest total points at the finish wins the Clipper Trophy.