Greenings grounded

Greenings has run aground, and won’t continue the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race.

Photography by Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

02 November 2017


The crew of CV24, Greenings, have been evacuated after running aground on the western side of Cape Peninsula, which sits roughly halfway between Cape Town and Cape Point, at approximately 2140 UTC (2340 local time) on Tuesday 31 October during Leg 3 of the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, which departed Cape Town, South Africa, earlier that day.

This follows Greenings thrilling victory in the second leg. It was a second straight stage win for Greenings, with the crew also setting a Clipper Race record for the most distance covered in 24 hours after racking up 329 nautical miles on day nine.

Greenings Skipper, Andy Woodruff (who is acting as interim skipper in place of injured David Hartshorn) and all crew were evacuated on to rescue boats provided by the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) and relocated to accommodation in Cape Town. All crew are doing well after some well-needed rest.

The same cannot be said the for the boat. the Clipper Race office confirmed that the vessel was partially underwater listing to port after running aground, and officials are saying the yacht is out of the Clipper Round the World Race. After discussions with interim skipper, Andy Woodruff, and Greenings skipper, David Hartshorn, it became apparent that the yacht could not continue.


Underwriters have appointed a surveyor who will check the boat Thursday. A decision will then be made whether the boat will be salvaged. A full investigation of the incident is underway, with Clipper Race Director Mark Light and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston inspecting the boat. There’s still no word about how the accident happened.

The thoughts of the fleet are very much with Greenings, as they make their way across the Southern Ocean for The Dell Latitude Rugged Race 3.

After hearing of the incident, Rob Graham, Skipper of the currently tenth placed Nasdaq, said: “Pleased to hear that everybody on board was unhurt and got back to land safely.” Skipper Conall Morrison, whose team is eighth, added: “It was awful news to hear about Greenings grounding last night, and everyone on board feels for the crew and are wishing that they are all ok.”

Sanya Serenity Coast is currently leading the way in The Dell Latitude Rugged Race 3, and has a 28 nautical mile advantage on the second placed Dare To Lead. With its spinnaker flying, Sanya Serenity Coast was first to the first mark after crossing the start line in Cape Town’s Table Bay, and Skipper Wendy Tuck says, “well, what a start it was. The team was pumped and it showed in the teamwork in the first 18 hours – it has been amazing.

“The breeze was light and then all over the place a few hours after the start, so sails were going up and down. It’s great to be back out here.”

Dare To Lead was first across the start line yesterday, but had to use all the Skipper’s local knowledge of the waters around Cape Town to move into second place, as Dale Smyth reports: “We had a frustrating start in Table Bay with very fickle wind and a botched spinnaker hoist. But we quickly got going and back up to second, and have started to pick up the promised north-westerly winds, which have given us a fast run south.”

PSP Logistics, under the leadership of new Skipper Matt Mitchell is right on Dare To Lead’s tail, less than 1 nautical mile behind in third. Whilst the team’s progress slowed overnight after a tangle with a turtle (which was unharmed), Matt is pleased with the race so far, commenting, “the start was a good one with light and challenging airs and we ended up being second around the last mark, and fourth out of the bay where more light winds challenged the fleet. With a bit of a lucky break, we managed to gain a place and break off in a group of three, ahead of the rest of the pack.”

Unicef is currently 87 nautical miles off the pace in eleventh place after being asked by the Clipper Race Director Mark Light to standby and assist Greenings. With the situation under control, Unicef has resumed racing.

Whilst the teams should find the wind backing and easing today, they will start to get their first taste of the Southern Ocean and Roaring Forties in the coming days, as Clipper Race Meteorologist Simon Rowell reports: “The wind should settle and build east-northeast tomorrow, driving in between the next low and the high to the south.

“This will get quite strong too, gusting into the 40 knots tomorrow, with the front on Friday gusting into the 50’s before backing rapidly northwest.”

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