As westernaustralia2011.com eats up the miles separating them from the rest of the fleet in Honolulu, Hawaii, work is running to schedule in the UK and Germany preparing the replacement mast sections and fittings to get them racing again.
Clipper Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston says, 'The mast sections will be ready to fly to Los Angles as planned, as will some of the rigging replacements. The replacement fittings for the eight boats are still due to leave direct from Germany on March 28. Some other items that have been requested will be included in this shipment. Both Spencer Rigging and Atlantic Spars worked over the Easter weekend to achieve the schedule and even dealt with the problem of the wrong extrusion for the mast spreaders being delivered on Friday by getting the right section delivered on Saturday! It's been good to have this support from the Industry.'
With fewer than 500 miles to go to the Ala Wai harbour on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, skipper Martin Silk says, 'What a place to celebrate; Louise Bennett, 21 again and not looking a day over 30 has been tempting the team with canapés and a tot this afternoon. Jackie has been hard at work repairing the spinnaker while others played cards with the birthday girl. Personally, I've just been watching the instruments, feeling smug; 9 knots over the ground makes me very happy.'
Race Director Joff Bailey says, 'Once they get here we'll get started on the other work that was caused by the dismasting.' As well as working on the nine yachts already in port, the Clipper Race's travelling maintenance team has been doing the groundwork in preparation for westernaustralia2011.com's arrival this weekend so they can get her race-ready again as quickly as possible.
The crews of the other nine internationally-backed yachts of the Clipper fleet have been making the most of their extended stay in Hawaii. Neighbouring Waikiki beach provides plenty of opportunity to swim, surf and kayak; many have made the trip to the island's North Shore to see the massive surf breaks that Hawaii is famous for and others have headed off to neighbouring Hawaii, known locally as the Big Island, to catch a glimpse of the spectacular volcanic activity that has been taking place there recently. www.clipperroundtheworld.com