To salvage or scuttle, that is the question

A naval architect is examining a 68ft ocean racing yacht, which hit a rock during Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Clipper Round The World Race to see if she is salvageable.

Colin Campbell – sailing on another of the £1 million yachts, which are all fully insured, – will let the organisers know this afternoon if it is worth saving the vessel.

The stricken hull of Cork, Ireland, one of ten yachts competing in the Clipper 2009-10 Round the World Yacht Race, which struck a rock in the Java Sea, some 200 nautical miles north east of Jakarta, is still stranded.

All 16 of her crew were evacuated to the island and subsequently to two sister yachts, Team Finland and California. All are safe and next of kin have been informed.

Falmouth Coastguard is working with local agencies to ensure that the situation is being constantly monitored.

The yacht was sailing in 20-knot winds when she struck a rock off the small island of Gosong Mampango at 2018 GMT, 13 January having left Geraldton, Western Australia for Singapore on 3 January.

Initial reports from skipper Richie Fearon stated that the boat is lying on her side on the rock with the toe rail under water with some hull damage.
With winds increasing, the crew were evacuated as a precaution.
Fellow competitors Team Finland and California were nearby and immediately stood by. The skipper and crew of Cork have subsequently used their liferafts to transfer to the waiting boats and all are now safely on board. Team Finland’s skipper Rob McInally is relaying updates with both the race organisers and the coastguard agencies.

At this stage, it is too early to consider what impact the incident will have on the Irish entry and whether the team will be able to continue in the 10-month-long 35,000 mile race around the world.