BIG SEAS: A yacht en route to Seattle during leg six of the Clipper Around the World race.
BIG SEAS: A yacht en route to Seattle during leg six of the Clipper Around the World race.

Ichor Coal gets its new skipper in US

Skipper on Ichor Coal Darren Ladd.

ICHOR Coal was one of the last Clipper yachts to arrive in Seattle on Monday after a horrendous crossing of the North Pacific Ocean during the sixth leg of the Clipper Around the World yacht race.

The death at sea of crew member Sarah Young was doubtless a hard burden to bear for all aboard Ichor Coal.

A memorial service will take place in Seattle this week to allow crew and supporters to pay respects to Sarah.

Skipper Darren Ladd has

retired from the race and has been replaced by UK-born

Richard Gould.

Gould is well aware of the dynamics of the Clipper race, having trained crews since the 2009-10 race and being a skipper in the 2013-14 edition.

The North Pacific Ocean during the Seattle Pacific Challenge also ended the race of Da Nang Vietnam after she was knocked down by big seas and 45 knot winds.

Sixth-placed Garmin was hit by the same storm the following day.

Garmin's skipper Ash Skett said it had been the toughest time in the race.

"It's been a horrendous 24 hours on board, and probably the toughest night and day of the whole race so far for us," he said.

"The wind built and brought with it a huge, steep sea which was to cause us a whole world of issues."

Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston commented on this latest incident: "There comes a time with

very bad weather that we are at the mercy of the waves".

"We can do our best, but the waves are so big and powerful that the boat is like a play

thing," he said.

"The sheer power of the sea is something that will reverberate. Sailing can be dangerous, but if it was easy, why bother to do it if you are the sort of person that likes a challenge in life."

The Clipper crews will have a chance to make much-needed repairs and enjoy sleeping in a proper bed before the race resumes on April 28. The yachts then head to Panama and are expected to arrive at the end of May.


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