Yacht dismasted on leg 7 of Clipper race

westernaustralia2011.com, one of the ten yachts competing in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race, has been dismasted during the race from Qingdao to Hawaii. At 0600 GMT on the eleventh day of the 4,400-nautical mile Pacific leg, the team representing Western Australia reported that their 81-foot mast had snapped approximately halfway down whilst sailing in approximately 10-15 knots of wind under spinnaker. There are no injuries onboard and the crew of 12, including the professional skipper, has cut away the trailing rigging using hydraulic cutters to prevent damage to the 68-foot yacht’s hull. The yacht remains seaworthy and a full assessment of the damage is underway.

The yacht is currently located approximately 700 nautical miles east of Yokohama, Japan in the Pacific Ocean. Due to strong winds from the west, the yacht will continue towards Hawaii under jury rig. The Clipper Race Team is looking at options for refuelling en route and it is likely that westernaustralia2011.com will head for the island of Midway approximately 1,400 miles from their current position. Clipper Ventures is in the process of sourcing a new mast section and rigging for the yacht so that westernaustralia2011.com can resume racing as soon as is practicably possible. The reigning champions from Clipper 05-06 are currently lying in sixth place overall after six of the 14 races in the ten-month round the world series. When the dismasting occurred the team was in ninth place with 2,648 miles to run to Hawaii. For more information visit the Clipper Round the World website