westernaustralia2011.com heads back to Midway after gearbox failure 19/3/08

westernaustralia2011.com, one of the ten yachts competing in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race, is heading back to Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean due to gearbox failure on Tuesday. The team representing Western Australia reported to the Race Office that the gearbox had sheared after one of their lines became caught around the propeller.

The team are now heading back to the remote Pacific island of Midway where they spent 30 hours last weekend stocking up on fuel and fresh food following their dismasting two weeks ago.

“A line around the propeller today whilst re-engaging the drive has turned our race around once again,” explained skipper Martin Silk. The line marking 1,000 miles to Hawaii will now need to be crossed two more times as we return to Midway refuge.”

The Race Team is currently assessing the options for getting a replacement gearbox to Midway so that the Western Australian team can proceed to Hawaii as soon as possible. westernaustralia2011.com, the winning boat in Clipper 05-06, is expected to arrive in Midway on Thursday.

As westernaustralia2011.com heads back west, the rest of the fleet are arriving in Hawaii where full rig investigations are being carried out ahead of the next race in the ten-month series. Seven of the ten-strong fleet are now berthed in the Ala Wai harbour including Durban 2010 and Beyond, the other boat to be dismasted during the leg from Qingdao.