Clipper Round the World racers have been diverted to Hong Kong, China after race organizers became aware of a potentially dangerous flaw in the forestay system on the 12 Clipper 70s. The forestay under scrutiny holds up the yacht’s Yankee headsail and mast. Racers were on route from Singapore to Qingdao, China, as part of Race 9, Leg 5 of the event. No points will be assessed to racers prior to arriving in Hong Kong.
On February 20, Jamaica Get All Right retired from the race when their forestay bottlescrews failed and they safely diverted to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. Then last night a second failure occurred on PSP Logistics, followed only a few hours later by a similar failure on Derry~Londonderry~Doire. No injuries have been reported.
“There is clearly a fault with this part of the rigging and we are not prepared to take any risks with the remaining boats so far unaffected,” says Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, founder and chairman of Clipper Ventures. “In Hong Kong the forestay bottlescrews will be replaced with a system we have just had approved by the MCA surveyor.”
Once the forestays are repaired, Race 9 will restart fresh from Hong Kong. Racers arrival in Qingdao is not expected to be delayed very long because of the direct routes available from Hong Kong.