Crew has conditional permission to rejoin racing in the Global Challenge

Yesterday, the ill-fated crew of Global Challenge yacht Team Stelmar set out from Ushuaia with the aim of continuing their race to Wellington after their third passage of the Beagle Channel in a fortnight. This time they returned to land put crewman Tim Johnston (left) ashore for treatment after he broke his arm last week.

Race organisers Challenge Business had discussed the possibility that they might retire from this leg for safety reasons, but after consultation with the skipper, Clive Cosby, the crew is to rejoin the race with conditions aimed at minimising the risk for a yacht racing in isolation.

Stelmar is making best speed to the position at which she ceased racing and once there will resume, making northing to the mid-ocean waypoint at 52°S 120° W. She is not to drop below this latitude for the rest of the leg. “The idea is to try to stay out of the worst ferocity of the Southern Ocean, and they’ll be closer to any assistance if they need it,” explains Andrew Roberts, Challenge Business project director. “To go a long way south again isn’t sensible, and they may even try to get up to about 40°S”

He admits that shaping a northerly course will add miles to the route to Wellington and probably take them into lighter winds and larger areas of headwinds, as they would pass further from the centre of depressions, but all being well expects Team Stelmar to arrive in Wellington two or two-and-a-half weeks after the other 11 yachts.

In Ushuaia, Stelmar took on extra food, fuel and gas for the 4,000-miles or more to Wellington. Outside assistance of this nature is allowed under the rules, explains Andrew Roberts, because of the reason they stopped racing and because it will not materially affect their position.

As the Global Challenge is scored in points, elapsed times are academic, and no matter what route Stelmar takes she will collect three points for a racing finish.