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IRISH ROUND THE WORLD YACHT EVACUATED

Friday January 15th, 2010
One of the ten 68ft ocean racing yachts competing in the Clipper 2009/10 Round the World Yacht Race has struck a rock in the Java Sea forcing all 16 crew members to abandon ship. The incident occurred about 200nm north east of Jakarta and everyone was safely evacuated to two sister yachts – Team Finland and California.

The yacht, Cork, Ireland, struck a rock at 8.18pm GMT on 13 January whilst sailing in 20 knot winds off the small island of Gosong, Mampango. Skipper Richie Fearon has reported that the boat is lying on the rock on its side with the toe rail under water and some hull damage. The crew were evacuated due to increasing wind speeds.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of race organisers Clipper-Ventures said, ‘Clearly our priority has been the safety of the crew and we have received confirmation that all on-board have evacuated the boat and are now safe. Their welfare is our prime concern at this time.'

The crew of the Irish yacht is made up of five Britons, eight Irish, two Australians and one Chinese national. It is too early to assess what impact the accident will have on Cork, Ireland’s progress in the 10month long 35,000mile around the world race.
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