westernaustralia2011.com back at Midway Island

westernaustralia2011.comjury rig sail plan - Clipper 07-08
westernaustralia2011.com has arrived back at Midway Island where the crew will make repairs to their gearbox, damaged when a line fouled the 68-foot yacht’s propeller as they made their way to join the rest of the ten-strong
Clipper fleet in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Skipper Martin Silk says 'Fair winds and a new suit of sails [a picture of the jury rig sail plan can be viewed online at www.clipper-ventures.com] facilitated a safe passage back to Midway Refuge today, and the BBB sailed to the dock with two boats standing by. The afternoon was spent clearing a fouled line from the propeller and it looks hopeful that parts will arrive by plane on Friday night. The team are settled into familiar surroundings, looking forward to a night of ten pin bowling against the 'Islanders'! Once again the hospitality of John and John plus their own teams has been first
class and we will try to make the most of our time here.'

It has been a complicated logistical process to get the necessary replacement part to Midway Island for Martin and his team to effect their repairs. However the Race Team continues to work around the clock, both in Hawaii and the UK, in order to enable westernaustralia2011.com to start racing again as soon as possible.

Martin says, 'It is an incredible set up in Midway, we have great human resources and the crew has been well supported by the people living on the island.'

It is hoped the required gearbox plate will arrive by air this afternoon (Friday) and, that being the case, he says he and his crew intend to depart Midway on Saturday. Three ‘leggers’ – crew competing on a single leg of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race – will fly to Hawaii when the plane returns to Honolulu on Saturday evening so they can join one of the other yachts to complete Leg 5 to Santa Cruz. It will take them approximately eight days to make the journey to Honolulu on the island of O’ahu – appropriately, the Hawaiian word for ‘gathering place’.

Meanwhile, in the Ala Wai, the crews of the nine yachts already here are relaxing after the arduous 4,400-mile Pacific crossing from Qingdao, China and getting to know new friends at the Waikiki Yacht Club, Hawaii Yacht Club and the Magic Island Petroleum Fuel Dock which have welcomed the crews most warmly. A packed programme of social events is planned for this weekend including the prize giving on Saturday evening when Hull & Humber, New York and Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper will be awarded their pennants.

Already in the diary are live bands, a cook out, Jamaica’s Rum Party and, later in the week, a luau – an evening of Polynesian banqueting, music and entertainment that recreates the ceremony and pageantry of the Hawaiian royal court – while some of Liverpool 08’s crew will head out to sea again. Skipper Ben Galloway can relax though; someone else will be at the helm while he and his crew take part in some deep sea fishing.

On Wednesday Clipper Ventures announced a delay of eight to ten days to the start of Race 8 to Santa Cruz.

Glasgow: Scotland with style Clipper skipper, Hannah Jenner says, 'The crew took the news of the delay pretty well and understand the need to do things properly for safety’s sake. Actually we’re really happy to get some time to rest and relax. I had really bad flu when we left Qingdao so it’s great to be able to catch up on sleep and get some free time and some sunshine again.'

Marcus Cholerton-Brown on Qingdao says, 'It gives us a good chance to really go through the 'to do' list. We were so busy in Qingdao with the programme we didn’t have a chance to do some of the smaller jobs, so we’re giving the
boat a really good going over here and it’s great to get a chance to relax a bit as well.'

Rig checks on the rest of the fleet have been completed and work has also begun on Durban 2010 and Beyond to prepare the boat for the arrival of their new mast. Durbanite skipper Ricky Chalmers, whose wife Maggie flew in to
Honolulu this week – a surprise she had arranged before news of the dismasting – says, 'I can think of a lot worse places to be stuck for a few days!'

For more information visit www.clipperroundtheworld.com