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.

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
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.”

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.

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.