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)

 Race one of the Clipper 15-16 Race gets underway from Southend, UK to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ( Photo Copyright onEdition 2015©)

Race one of the Clipper 15-16 Race gets underway from Southend, UK to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ( Photo Copyright onEdition 2015©)

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.

IchorCoal team (Photo ©OnEdition)

IchorCoal team (Photo ©OnEdition)

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
3 Derry~Londonderry~Doire
4 Garmin
5 Qingdao
6 Da Nang – Viet Nam
7 ClipperTelemed
8 Unicef
9 PSP Logistics
10 Visit Seattle
11 + Mission Performance
12 IchorCoal

IchorCoal team resumes racing after saying a prayer for lost crewmate. (Photo © OnEdition)

IchorCoal team resumes racing after saying a prayer for lost crewmate. (Photo © OnEdition)

The LMAX Exchange (centre) and Great Britain yacht, (left) head off at the start of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race at Southend Pier. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 31, 2015. (Photo by John Walton/PA Wire)

The LMAX Exchange (centre) and Great Britain yacht, (left) head off at the start of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race at Southend Pier. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 31, 2015. (Photo by John Walton/PA Wire)

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.

PSP Logistics San Francisco to Panama 100 Race start  leg 7 Race 11

PSP Logistics San Francisco to Panama 100 Race start leg 7 Race 11

AFTER A SPECTACULAR SEND-OFF FROM SAN FRANCISCO, USA THE 12 STRONG FLEET COMPETING IN THE CLIPPER 2013-14 RACE PULLED NO PUNCHES AS THE 3,300 MILE RACE TO PANAMA GOT OFF TO A FLYING START. 

With Derry~Londonderry~DoireHenri Lloyd and Old Pulteney first across the start line for Race 11, it wasn’t long before PSP Logistics made its move eager to make an impression and secure a win in its title race. Skipper of PSP Logistics, Chris Hollis which currently lies in second place behind Old Pulteney knows all too well the pressure is on: 
“Today see’s us on our way to Panama in Race 11, which has being named by our sponsor, the PSP Logistics Panama 100 Cup. Needless to say, we want to do very well in the race for obvious reasons. By the time we were under the Golden Gate Bridge and heading out to sea we had over taken four boats.”Although the Northern Irish entry took an early lead, skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire Sean McCarter was far from impressed by his teams initial start in Race 11. Sean explains in today’s skipper report:“Our departure today was less than straight forward. With crowds cheering from the dock, we proceeded to bounce our way out of the marina in a very erratic manner. I was worried the Coastguard might want to breathalyse me but I can honestly confirm that as the tide was fully out, the keel was gently ploughing through the muddy bottom and making manoeuvring very tricky!”
“After the embarrassing departure, we knew we had to redeem ourselves at the start. The largely new crew (11 joiners) pulled together really well with the seasoned round the world crew and we managed to win the start and lead out under the Golden Gate Bridge which was fantastic for all aboard (and all our fans who were unlucky enough to witness our departure!)”

Team Garmin at the start of Race 11 in San Photo by Francisco_Abner Kingman Abner Kingman 2014©

Team Garmin at the start of Race 11 in San Photo by Francisco_Abner Kingman Abner Kingman 2014©

With just four miles now separating the top three leading boats, Old PulteneyPSP Logistics and Derry~Londonderry~Doire respectively, all eyes will be on the Race Viewer to see how the tactics in Race 11 will play out over the next few weeks. To read all the skipper reports click here

SKIPPER REPORTS
Sean McCarter
Derry~ Londonderry~ Doire
Simon Talbot
GREAT Britain
Simon Talbot
Henri Lloyd
Rich Gould
Invest Africa
Pete Stirling
Jamaica Get All Right
Matt Mitchell
Mission Performance
Patrick van der Zijden
Old Pulteney
Olly Cotterell
One DLL
Chris Hollis
PSP Logistics
Gareth Glover
Qingdao
Vicky Ellis
Switzerland
20clipper.jpg.article.jpg
Team Garmin
View all Skipper reports
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Henri Lloyd arrives into San Francisco

Henri Lloyd arrives into San Francisco


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.”

GREAT Britain celebrates San Francisco line honours

GREAT Britain celebrates San Francisco line honours

CV24 skipper Vicky Ellis watches Jamaica and Invest Africa just after the start of Race 10.

CV24 skipper Vicky Ellis watches Jamaica and Invest Africa just after the start of Race 10.

And they’re off! The foggy conditions that have caused delay to the Race 10 re-start lifted enough by first light this morning, allowing teams to officially start this highly anticipated 5,600 mile race of mammoth proportion, to San Francisco, USA.


Jamaica Get All Right
 skipper Pete Stirling explained the race start, which took place at 08:50 local time (0050 UTC):  “After nearly two days of slowly making our way south east out of the Yellow Sea, the fog lifted this morning and lead skipper, Eric Holden of Henri Lloyd, organised a Le Mans start.

“There was a ten minute countdown and at one minute all the crews had to be behind the forward coffee grinder and the engine had to be off. On the gun all the crews rushed forward to get up their headsails. The wind conditions were quite light and from behind so the sail plan of choice was full mainsail, staysail and Yankee 1. Le Mans start rules dictate all boats must keep the same course and sail plan for the first ten minutes, after which they can do what they want.”

After a clean start, the fleet is currently passing beneath South Korea, just under 300 miles from the waypoint beneath Sata Misaki lighthouse on the southern tip of mainland Japan. Qingdao and Derry~Londonderry~Doire, currently lead the pack at time of press but as it is all very tightly packed, the leaderboard is likely to update regularly.

As the fleet turns north along the Japanese coastline, the Kuroshio Current or ‘Black Current’ (a strong north flowing current that appears a deeper blue than the sea through which it flows) will bring stronger, northerly winds, expected to both propel and challenge the teams as they approach the North Pacific Ocean. 

Race 10 includes an Ocean Sprint and Scoring Gate, allowing teams the chance to pick up bonus points along the course. All teams will also be entitled to two periods of Stealth Mode – once activated, that particular yachts position will be hidden from the Race Viewer for 24 hours for attempted tactical gain. 

PSP Logistics departed Qingdao this morning and are now motoring to the same re-start line. Their overall race performance will be based on elapsed time and not first over the line. Skipper Chris Hollis explained his teams thoughts:  “It’s very similar to when we left Albany (Race 5), when we started 36 hours behind the fleet, yet closed in to finish fourth fastest.

“The psychology makes it a little harder to race because you don’t have a boat next to you, but we will set our own gates to achieve time targets and race weather windows. We’re all looking forward to this trip. This is the big one, and we’re ready for it,” added Chris.

 To read all the skipper reports click here or choose individually below. 

 To track the fleet’s progress on the official Race Viewer click here

SKIPPER REPORTS
Sean McCarter
Derry~ Londonderry~ Doire
Simon Talbot
GREAT Britain
Simon Talbot
Henri Lloyd
Rich Gould
Invest Africa
Pete Stirling
Jamaica Get All Right
Matt Mitchell
Mission Performance
Patrick van der Zijden
Old Pulteney
Olly Cotterell
One DLL
Chris Hollis
PSP Logistics
Gareth Glover
Qingdao
Vicky Ellis
Switzerland
20clipper.jpg.article.jpg
Team Garmin
PSP Logistics leaves China for start of Leg 6  photo courtesy Clipper Round the World Race

PSP Logistics leaves China for start of Leg 6 photo courtesy Clipper Round the World Race/ © Olli Geibel

Leg 6/Race 10 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has restarted after fog required the fleet, which left China on Sunday, to motor-sail until conditions improved this morning.

The fog lifted enough by first light this morning allowing teams to officially start the 5,600 mile race from Qingdao to San Francisco, USA.

Henri Lloyd skipper Eric Holden organised a Le Mans start which took place at 08:50 local time Tuesday (0050 UTC).

After a clean start, the fleet is currently passing beneath South Korea, just under 300 miles from the waypoint beneath Sata Misaki lighthouse on the southern tip of mainland Japan.

Derry~Londonderry~Doire, and Old Pulteney currently lead the pack, just one mile ahead of Invest Africa andJamaica Get All Right.

As the fleet turns north along the Japanese coastline, the Kuroshio Current or ‘Black Current’ (a strong north flowing current that appears a deeper blue than the sea through which it flows) will bring stronger, northerly winds, expected to both propel and challenge the teams as they approach the formidable North Pacific Ocean.

Leg 6 includes an Ocean Sprint and Scoring Gate, allowing teams the chance to pick up bonus points along the course. All teams will also be entitled to two periods of Stealth Mode – once activated, that particular yachts position will be hidden from the Race Viewer for 24 hours for attempted tactical gain.

PSP Logistics set off for the revised start line for Leg 6, Race 10 this morning after a late start following several setbacks in Race 9.
To read more, click here.

QINGDAO, China. 09-MAR-2014; Clipper Ventures Round The World race stopover in Qingdao China © Olli Geibel

QINGDAO, China. 09-MAR-2014; Clipper Ventures Round The World race stopover in Qingdao China © Olli Geibel

Life on deck at 45 degrees

Life on deck at 45 degrees

THE WIND HAS STRENGTHENED OVERNIGHT AND THE TEAMS ARE BACK TO BEATING INTO 35 TO 40 KNOTS OF WIND, WITH FOUR YACHTS CLEAR OF THE NOTORIOUS TAIWAN STRAIT.

Sail plans have become conservative with storm sails hoisted and three reefs in the main with conditions rough because of the short, choppy seas the Strait is known for.

 Eric Holden, skipper of Henri Lloyd, said the conditions are expected to last throughout the day with possibly a slight reprieve tomorrow with a few knots less predicted.

“That would be very welcomed but really we should prepare for this to continue for the next three or so days until we are well out of the Strait of Taiwan, where the wind accelerates as it funnels between Taiwan and the mainland.”

 The boats are on an individual time trial, with the race to Qingdao being decided on elapsed times.

However, GREAT Britain and Derry~Londonderry~Doire set off at the exact same time so are able to match race each other.

 Sean McCarter, skipper of Derry~Londonderry~Doire, said: “For the second time in our match race, we have split tacks with GREAT Britainelecting to continue on north out of the Strait while we headed east in search of more favourable current and a better wind angle to head north. It was pretty painful getting out here so let’s hope it pays in the next couple of schedules!”

 The north east monsoon is expected to ease again over the next two days, but the weather is very localised around the Strait due to the Taiwanese land mass.

 PSP Logistics left the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Causeway Bay at mid-day local time today (UTC + 8 hours); her departure was delayed slightly longer to also replace a faulty fuel pump.

 Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, founder and chairman of the Clipper Race, thanked the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club for all the help they gave the fleet during the brief pit stop to repair the yacht’s forestays.

 “It was not just the way they leaped into the breach, it was the enthusiastic and professional way they sorted out our problem. The hospitality of the club is legendary, and many of the crews had the opportunity to avail themselves of the bar and meals whilst in port. The RHKYC is a very special yacht club.”

 

To read all the skipper reports click here

 

To track the fleet’s progress on the official Race Viewer click here

Sean McCarter
Derry~ Londonderry~ Doire

 

Simon Talbot
GREAT Britain

 

Simon Talbot
Henri Lloyd