Loose keel bolts forces Clipper Round the World yachts to divert to the Philippines 6/2/06

All 10 yachts in the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race have been diverted to Subic Bay in the Philippines for keel inspection following discovery of loose keel bolts on seven of the 10 Clipper 68 yachts.

According to the organisers at approximately 0830 GMT on Saturday, Glasgow Clipper reported a loose keel bolt and as a result the Race Team immediately advised the rest of the ten-strong fleet to check their bolts for movement.

After carrying out an inspection, six other yachts reported slight movement of the keel bolt. Following this discovery of similar problems elsewhere in the fleet, the decision was taken to divert all ten Clipper 68s to Subic Bay in the Philippines for a full investigation and for any necessary remedial work to be carried out.

There is no risk to the yachts and their crews and this decision has been taken as a precautionary measure given that crew safety is paramount in the organisation of the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race. The boats are maintaining regular contact with the Race Team as they reach Subic Bay.

Haul out facilities are currently being investigated and work will commence as soon as possible on ascertaining the full extent of the problem. The Clipper Race Team is flying out to meet the fleet in Subic Bay where action will be taken to minimise disruption to the schedule of the race.