He faces orthopaedic surgeon
A racing boat fleet which lost and then recovered a crewman
overboard, who was injured when he hit the boat’s rudder, faced winds above 70
knots and 10 m waves. Conditions in the Pacific Ocean were ‘frightening at
times’ said Clipper Race director Justin Taylor as the fleet of 70 footers, including
Derry,Londonderry, Doire arrived in San Francisco, where MOB Andrew Taylor was
After an examination and x-ray
of his leg, the doctors at the Saint Francis Memorial Hospital confirmed he is suffering with a serious
deep contusion, or bruising.
He will see an orthopaedic
surgeon for further assessment on the leg to see whether he can continue
with the race following the injury sustained when he hit the starboard
rudder shortly after going over the side.
Andrew said: “I’m
under no illusion that I am a very lucky man. I’m very happy to be here in
San Francisco – I need to say thank you to a lot of these guys behind me for
the work that they put in for the search and rescue operation. I also need to
thank Olly Cotterell, the skipper of OneDLL, and the crew of OneDLL who suspended racing to come and
assist in the search operation immediately. I need to say a massive thank to
the Clipper Race team and the work that they did – in particular liaising with
my family which is not an easy thing to do. They did an amazing job – my family
speak very highly of them.
“It was horrific, the storm in particular – it was hard
for these guys on the boat, it made the search harder but the storm treated me
very badly. It beat me up badly.
“I kept myself really busy
whilst I was in the water. There was a lot for me to do a lot for me to
concentrate on and what I needed to do to survive. The guys on the boat were
doing everything they needed to do so it was important I did the same. There
were a few times I did wonder if I was going to get back on the boat or not but
I’m here and on the boat, many thanks to the crew. It was an epic piece of work
to find me.”
The Pacific leg was very eventful race right down to the
finish, where just 30 miles separated the top three teams after 5,600 miles of
Some of the yachts have not seen any other boats for weeks
during this leg of the Clipper Race. At times the nearest other humans to the
teams were those passing overhead in passenger aircraft or on the International
Space Station orbiting roughly 300 miles above the world’s largest expanse of
The yacht crossed
the finish line in sixth place at 14:28 UTC under San Francisco’s iconic Golden
Gate Bridge, after 5,600 miles of racing. A rescue
operation saw Andrew recovered after spending 90 minutes in the extreme cold of
the Pacific after going over the side while racing on 31 March.
Skipper Sean McCarter said the race had been long and
difficult. “The morale on board is
pretty good, it’s always pretty good, obviously with some worrying moments but
the guys dealt with everything incredibly well. We took it easy once we got Andrew
back on board probably for around 24 hours – I wasn’t sure how everyone was
feeling or how they would react to getting back onto race mode but I think it
was the best thing for us and once we concentrated on that we went back to
normal and since then it’s been great. We’ve had a good time and a good race.
Unfortunately we fell off the back of the weather that the leaders came in on
which was a bit unfortunate but we are just so happy to be here.”
The new design third
generation fleet of Clipper 70s has sailed a fast race in predominantly
downwind conditions, with the front runners completing the 5600 nautical miles
in just over 24 days, averaging around 230 miles a day, despite a few
frustrating wind holes towards the finish. The Pacific is the world’s largest
ocean and has a reputation for relentless, punishing, conditions that have
battered the Clipper Race fleet many times before.
Race 11, the PSP Logistics Panama 100 Cup, starts from San
Francisco on 19 April and sees the teams transit the Panama Canal in its
centenary year. They will then cross through to the Caribbean side to carry on
racing to Jamaica before finishing this US coast-to-coast leg in New York.
The remainder of the fleet’s progress can be tracked through
the Clipper Race Viewer at www.clipperroundtheworld.com/raceviewer