sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Clipper Round the World - Dramatic race 7 start includes sinking yacht

Clipper Round the World - Dramatic race 7 start includes sinking yacht

'Gold Coast Australia in front of the Gold Coast skyline at the start of the race from the Gold Coast to Singapore in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race.'    onEdition ©

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race competitor Lisa Blair is sailing on Gold Coast Australia. Below is her account of preparations and the start of race 7.

Lisa:

When the rest of the world was busy making preparations on Christmas eve, roasting their turkeys, baking holiday puddings and gathering their final gifts, the crew on-board Gold Coast Australia were saying sad farewells to friends and family as they made preparations to set sail from the Gold Coast, Australia to commence the seventh race which finishes in Singapore.


For me, this was my home port with the Gold Coast set only three short hours drive from my home town of the Sunshine Coast and as a result I had lots of visitors including my parents, sister, aunty, grandparents and other friends of the family who have all been following our progress closely as we race around the world. At 0730 am as we prepared to slip lines my family were lined up on the fuel docks some waving, others shouting words of encouragement and still others crying.

I had not seen my family for a year and after ten days on land, I was setting sail again for another seven months at sea waving goodbye on Christmas eve as our boat song 'Land Down Under' by Men at Work boomed over the loud speaker. Finally the last line was slipped and we made our way out of the marina entrance with the bow of our boat proudly displaying the Commonwealth Games logo and effortlessly cutting the water. This race was going to be a long one lasting over 30 days at sea.

Race start was set for 1130am just offshore of Main Beach on the Gold Coast, we had needed to leave the marina early to be able to clear the seaway with the tides as up to four meters of swell was predicted however, once we had rounded the point we were presented with a nice two meter swell and a steady 20 knots of wind, perfect. We lined up in chevron formation for our parade of sail with Gold Coast Australia leading the fleet along the shore line. Finally the race start was nearing at time crept on.

At 1030 am we were radioed a new start time of 1100am a good 30 minutes earlier than originally planned. Not to worry we already had our main sail up so we set about hoisting the Stay sail next. We had less than 15 minutes until the start gun goes off and we still did not have our Yankee 2 head sail up and trimmed for speed. Just as I was about to ask skipper Richard Hewson if we could go for the hoist a high pitched siren went off down below. It was piercing and demanded our attention so Rich went down to see what the problem was.

It looked like the bilge alarm was going off so he lifted one of the floor boards and found a sailor’s worst nightmare; the bilge was filled with water and rising fast. Rich called for Terry Martin, our engineer and Wayne Reed who was in the Navigation Station at the time to help him go through the whole boat and check every sea cock. A sea cock is a through hull fitting with a valve attached to it so that we can either pump out into the ocean or pump in salt water for cleaning ect.

We were now down to 10 minutes until the race start when we got the go ahead to hoist the Yankee 2. I was bow so I went up forward and readied the sail for a hoist. 'Hoist!' was shouted and the sail was sweated up the forestay, the halyard (the rope that pulls the sail up) was tensioned and we started trimming on the sheets. Rich had popped his head up on deck to supervise the hoist and was calling for the sail to be trimmed on. The two people on the grinder were giving it everything they had but the sail was not coming in.

We were now down to four minutes until the race start and I noticed that there were no longer any sheets attached to the sail, they had flogged themselves off during the hoist. Because I was on the bow, I was the only person who could see this so I entered a shouting war with Rich, as he was shouting for Trim I was shouting for the sail to be dropped so that we could re-attach the sheets and all the crew in the middle didn't know who to listen to. Finally, everybody realised what had happened and we begin to drop the sail down. Two minutes to go and the sail is finally on the deck, the crew are all busy either trying to hold onto the sail or trying to re-tie the sheets back on so that we could hoist it back up.

Bang! The start gun goes and we are still in a shemozzle trying to re-hoist and set the sail, finally all is finished and we are off and racing crossing the line in last position. Through all of this on-deck drama the bilge alarm was still sounding shrilly and we were still taking on water so Rich gave the helm a course and went down below to deal with the other slightly more important drama of a sinking boat.

Down below the boys had almost finished going through the boat without finding any broken sea cocks when Wayne decided to check the engine and it was a good thing he did because the prop shaft was spewing a stream of salt water. The prop shaft connects from the engine through the hull of the boat and attaches to the propeller and on this prop shaft is something called a Stern Gland.

This Stern Gland is a seal of sorts stopping the water from coming in when the engine is running, unfortunately for us this had just cracked and was leaking water everywhere but luck for us Wayne spotted it just before it went underwater where it would have been near undetectable. Rich gets on the radio with the race officials trying to work out the best course of action. They decide to drop us off some amalgamating tape (like what the plumbers use) to wrap around the broken seal and hopefully reduce the flow of salt water.

This did slow it down but was not a complete fix so with the help of the race office we organised for three of the maintenance boxes off other boats to be dropped off. The rib returns laden with our supplies but there is only one person on board and we are still racing along at 10 knots so there was no way that he could pass the boxes and drive the boat so Rich, always thinking on his feet decided that he is going to jump off the boat into the rib and pass the boxes up to us. So worthy of a James Bond film Rich does his daring leap and lands safely aboard. Moving fast because time is short he hands us all three of the heavy maintenance boxes. Just as the last box is on-board the rib pulls away momentarily carrying away our skipper...

Wayne is by now on the helm and asks me if Rich is back on board, I reply 'No, not yet' resulting in some colourful language from Wayne. Finally the rib comes back and Rich executes a perfect 007 boat to boat boarding in two meters of swell racing along at 10 knots, anyone would think that he has done that before...

There should be everything we need fix the stern gland at sea in those boxes, fingers grossed but at the moment we are sailing into building seas as we track north experiencing the tail end of the now downgraded cyclone. After the afternoons dramas we had successfully clawed our way from last position right up to fourth just as the sun set.

With more than 4000 nautical miles left to race we have ample time to re-gain the lead.




by Lisa Blair

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=92382

9:08 PM Thu 29 Dec 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

31 Oct 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - First Clipper 70 hits the UK
18 Oct 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to support youth cancer charity
16 Oct 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Deputy Race Director appointed
23 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Victory for Gold Coast Australia
21 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet on final phase
20 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet face tightly packed finish
19 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet head to Southampton
13 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – Qingdao cross Race 14 finish
12 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Race - Singapore first over Race 14 finish
12 Jul 2012  Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Race 14 finish fast approaching
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World









The first annual WetaFresh is a big success by Tim Wieringa, Muskegon, MI


















Techno 293 Worlds - France and Italy claim titles by International Windsurfing Association,














420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,


























Kempe thrilled to invite himself to Gold Cup party
2014 420 World Championships - Singapore wins Day 2 race
Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals
Etchells Invitational Cup - Girls on top in Cowes
National Sailing Hall of Fame reveals inductees
J/111 North American Championship - Wind Czar victorious
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race sets off August 10th
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau victorious on day 5
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship headed for San Diego
WPA Championships - Kids race divisions offered
New Clever Pig launched by US Sailing
America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting
Copa del Rey Mapfre - Build-up reveals some remarkable enthusiasm
Marblehead NOOD Regatta - Images by Leighton O'Connor
America's Cup: Two AC72 skippers discuss Foiling Moths and the Cup
RS Feva World Championship - Brilliant sailing on day 2
America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014 - Relishing a challenge
Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named
Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4   
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event   
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014   
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston   
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet   
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Final two days of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014   
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader   
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3   
Vic-Maui Yacht Race - Polishing the silverware   
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day   
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins   
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT