Mark has operation to his broken right leg with a rod and pins attached to his tibia. He hopes to be released tomorrow in time to meet his fellow crew's arrival in Oz

Following a Southern Ocean knockdown suffered last Tuesday by the Spirit of Mystery, the 11 metre wooden lugger, the injured crewman, Mark Maidment, was taken off the boat at Portland yesterday and airlifted to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. He underwent an operation to his broken right leg and is now resting comfortably in hospital after a rod and pins were attached to his tibia.

Mark hopes to be released tomorrow in time to meet his colleagues who are due to arrive in Williamstown between 1.30 and 3.30 pm. The winds have been much kinder to Spirit of Mystery since the knockdown. It is hope a flotilla of small boats will meet the vessel and escort her into the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria after she completes her five month, 11,800 mile voyage.

The crew, comprising skipper Pete Goss, his younger brother Andy and Pete’s 14 year-old son Eliot will be welcomed to Melbourne by VIP guests including the Mayor of Hobsons Bay, Peter Hemphill, and the President of the Cornish Association of Victoria Derek Trewarne.

Pete Goss said: “The emergency services have been fantastic and we have been so well looked after by all the Australians who have been involved with the project. We hope to see lots of boats out to welcome us in and can’t wait to shake as many hands as possible when we come alongside.”

Mark Maidment said: “Obviously I am disappointed that I won’t be on board as she sails in, but I am looking forward to being reunited with the crew after all we have been through together.” The vessel’s progress can be monitored on the project website: