Clipper Race casualty Sarah Young was buried at sea yesterday with a service on board the yacht IchorCoal.
The 12 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race teams united across the Pacific Ocean with a minute’s silence and ceremonies to pay their respects to their ‘vibrant, adventurous friend, who lived life to the full’.
Leading the tributes was IchorCoal skipper Darren Ladd, who said: ‘Sarah was a close friend and an enthusiastic and accomplished sailor. Sarah and I would chat for hours in the navigation station about this and that. Every now and again she would come and sit next to me, give me a hug, and go again. No need to say anything, probably we both needed it.
‘Sarah was a valued crew member and amazing victualler. On deck she was fearless and could often be found at the bow wrestling with headsails, or up the mast wrestling wrapped spinnakers, even below decks wrestling crew to protect the biscuit ration. She was a great wrestler, never lost a biscuit.
‘The crew stood on deck with all the courage and dignity we could muster, read a few of Sarah’s favourite prayers and poetry, before holding a minute’s silence. The ceremony was ended with a beautiful traditional Zulu song sung by our Sapinda Rainbow Ambassador, Charlotte.’
Darren described yesterday as ‘one of the hardest days’ of his life.
He added: ‘Never under-estimate the value of friendship and of team spirit. The support via email has been over-whelming and absolutely invaluable. Life is finite and often far too short.
‘Sarah was an adventurer and lived life to the full. She died an adventurer’s death battling the elements circumnavigating the globe. I wish we could have said goodbye properly, we all do. The ceremony was for Sarah on behalf of all those that were fortunate enough to know her. Today we said goodbye, but she will always be present in our hearts.
‘Sarah will be sadly missed.’
Sarah’s IchorCoal teammate on Leg 6, Charlie Stannard, a fellow Londoner who turns 21 this week, added: ‘After the tragic loss of one of our crew members during a man overboard incident the team and myself are battling through it after laying Sarah to rest.
‘The team has grown from strength to strength and we are currently averaging around 10 knots on course for Seattle meaning we will be there in around 15-20 days.’
Skipper Ash Skett and the Garmin crew said: ‘Our hearts go out to Sarah’s team mates, family and friends. Most of us on Garmin were privileged to count ourselves in that number, the stopovers bringing us together as only shared stories and experiences can.
‘At the same time that Sarah Young was buried at sea, we held our own service on board. We had been sent the beautiful readings and prayer that were being used on IchorCoal and I read these out to our team before we held a minute’s silence.
‘Towards the end of the minute, we were hit by a large squall, as if the ocean was reminding us that we must now focus our minds on the sailing and keeping ourselves and each other safe.’
Skipper Max Stunell and the PSP Logistics crew said: ‘We held a small ceremony in honour of Sarah, read the poem that her partner had chosen and we held a minute’s silence. It is at times like these when you realise how far we are away from friends and loved ones.
‘Our hearts go out to Sarah’s loved ones as well as Skipper Darren and the Ichorcoal crew who tried so desperately to save her. We can’t imagine how they are feeling having just lost their second crew member and we send them all our love, strength and support over the next few days and over the continuing journey.
‘On board PSP Logistics, we have had a session where we could share our feelings and support each other through this. To reassure our family and friends at home we are being super vigilant about our safety and all taking extra measures to look out for each other (even more so than normal).
‘Our priority has always been to achieve our dreams in a safe manner (whether it is one leg or round the world) and this remains our priority over and above the racing aspect.’
Skipper Huw Fernie and the Visit Seattle crew said: ‘The thoughts and well wishes of all on Visit Seattle go out to Sarah’s friends, family and her team mates on Ichorcoal. The mood on board is sombre, but there are the small things that are nice. Today we sailed in snow. A biting cold that brought smiles to worn out faces. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.’
Skipper Olivier Cardin and the LMAX Exchange crew said: ‘With the recent tragic and sad news about Sarah on Ichorcoal we have been in a sombre and reflective mood. Our heart goes out to Sarah’s friends, loved ones and to the whole crew on Ichorcoal.
‘To our loved ones at home, be assured we are taking extra measures to stay safe, and as always, are looking out for each other. We are all well and looking forward to getting to Seattle and will be in touch soon.’
Skipper Wendy Tuck and the Da Nang – Viet Nam crew said yesterday: ‘In the morning we hove to and held a small service for Sarah, we read out the readings that were taking place on IchorCoal, and had a few minutes silence, I know I was thinking of my loved ones, Skipper Daz and the crew of IchorCoal,and of course Sarah and her partner. Later in the day, a beautiful rainbow was showing in the spray alongside the yacht.
‘We are now sailing, we are still taking it easy and not overworking the crew and I am not prepared to push anyone, we are all up and down at the moment, so everyone is keeping an eye on their fellow crew members.’
Skipper Matt Mitchell and the ClipperTelemed+ crew said: ‘It is with all of our heartfelt regret to hear of the burial of Sarah at sea, I shared a few of the readings that were read on board IchorCoal with my crew and we observed a minute silence. Our thoughts go out to all who knew Sarah.’
Skipper Peter Thornton and the GREAT Britain crew also held a minute’s silence and held their own ceremony for Sarah ‘on deck, dressed in full foulies in the cold wind within a snow shower, enabled reflection over the rough sea very poignant. Another lost ship mate whom we will not forget.’
Skipper Bob Beggs and the Qingdao crew said: ‘All thoughts or talk of racing seam totally inappropriate today as we say goodbye and fair winds to Sarah we observed a minute’s silence at 1200.
‘Many of the Clipper Race fleet knew Sarah well, they had crewed and sailed with her during training and during the race. Our thoughts are with you all, especially her partner, family and friends, Skipper Darren and crew of IchorCoal.
‘Rest in peace Sarah.’
Skipper Daniel Smith & the Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew said: ‘The Skipper and entire crew of Derry~Londonderry~Doire extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and crewmates of Sarah Young. Such news is truly shocking as well as tragic. On occasions such as these, there is considerable soul searching all round with reflection and introspection upon what we value and care for most.;
They added: ‘We pursue our passion in a sport which carries undoubted risks – we do this knowingly and it does not deter us. Rather, it is part of the attraction of the sport overall and which appeals to the adventurous amongst us. No words can capture the sadness we all feel at the loss of a fellow ‘Clipperati’ – a true adventurer by all accounts. May Sarah rest in peace.’
Skipper Martin Clough and the Unicef crew said :’A sombre minute’s silence, on board Unicef, allowed the team to say farewell to Sarah as a burial service took place from IchorCoal.
‘We remain in awe at what Skipper Darren and his team are managing at this time and wish them a speedy and safe passage to Seattle.’
Skipper Greg Miller and the Mission Performance crew said their thoughts and love are with the team and Sarah’s loved ones.
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670 crew members from 42 different countries took part in the 11-month race around the world