Cork's fate decided by Clipper Race management

Following Cork‘s

collision with a reef two nights ago, the team at Clipper Ventures has been

working closely with marine salvage experts and insurance assessors to

understand whether the racing yacht is recoverable. After reviewing extensive material

which includes video and digital images of the damage, reading reports sent

from a number of qualified sources, getting hourly updates from the other

Clipper yachts at the scene and discussing the options with a broad range of

experts, there is clearly only one option open to the race organisers.

The

surveyors and salvage experts advise that the boat is now so weakened by the

pounding she has taken on the reef, the collective view is that she would not

survive being dragged off the shelf, made buoyant and then complete the 450

mile tow to Singapore. Even if this were possible, the extent of the damage

means that she would be beyond economic repair.

As such,

Sir Robin said, “It is with very great sadness that we have to accept that Cork

Clipper
will remain on the reef as we lose her to the sea. This is the

first loss Clipper has experienced in seven races and since the first race in

1996, more than two million miles of racing has been safely and successfully

completed. Clipper accepts the surveyors’ practical opinion and I’d like to

thank all of those who have assisted in our rescue efforts over the last couple

of days.”

Sir Robin

went on to pay tribute to the skippers and crew of the Clipper 09-10 Round the

World Yacht Race saying, “On a personal note I have been very warmed and proud

of the reaction and support of the crews, and of the skippers on

site. They have performed splendidly and shown great seamanship.”

His

comments echo those from many sources around the world who have been quick to

praise the level of training and the professionalism shown in the aftermath of

the incident. All the crew are safe and in the last few days, all personal

possessions have been taken off Cork and will be reunited with their crew when

the yachts arrive in Singapore.

Clipper

Ventures has made racing berths available for the Cork crew when the

nine boat fleet departs to Qingdao and then on to California. The company is

also looking at options on providing a replacement boat so that the Cork

colours can once again take to the sea in the later legs of the 09-10 race.

Further announcements on this will be made in due course.