Published: Tuesday, 08 September 2015

Having had time to process the tragedy of losing their crewmate Andrew Ashman, the crew of IchorCoal have made the collective, highly inspirational decision to continue racing in the 40,000-nautical mile Clipper Round the World Race.

Ichorcoal To Continue Clipper Round The World Race

(Photo: OnEdition)

The unanimous choice was made on Sunday during a team meeting with Skipper Darren Ladd, Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and other members of the Clipper Race team supporting the crew.

Andrew Ashman, a 49-year-old paramedic from Kent, England was knocked unconscious by the mainsheet of the boat. He was given immediate medical assistance and attempted resuscitation but failed to regain consciousness.

“It’s partly out of respect for Andy that we want to carry on, and partly a way that as a team we can deal with what’s happened,” says Ladd. “I think the only way we can all deal with it is to jump back on the boat and get back sailing, and do it with Andy in our hearts and minds at the same time.”

Ichorcoal To Continue Clipper Round The World Race 2

(Andrew Ashman)

A fleet-wide minute’s silence was held in memory of Andrew, and many friends and family have left messages of support and condolence for the crew and Andrew’s loved ones.

Across the fleet, the yachts have been doing their best to make good speed during frustratingly light winds as they head south towards the Canary Islands. 

GREAT Britain is top of the leaderboard again with LMAX Exchange now in third place, three nautical miles behind Derry~Londonderry~Doire on distance to finish. Skipper Peter Thornton reports that late in the afternoon Sunday, the British team finally managed to sail south and west enough to get into some of the winds it was chasing. As the yachts head further south, the winds should settle in again from the north east, the start of the Trade Winds.

Ichorcoal To Continue Clipper Round The World Race 1

(Photo: OnEdition)

“I expect the winds to be steadier once the teams are level with the Canary Islands,” says Clipper Race Meteorologist Simon Rowell. “The next 24 hours should see the massive wind holes across the course start to fill in again - much to everyone's relief. So far (and I hesitate to say this) GREAT Britain’s gamble to go west seems to have paid off, but the final proof will be if they hold the narrow band of winds long enough to get back into the general flow.”

Leg 1 of the race, from London to Rio de Janerio, Brazil is expected to conclude the last week of September. The race will then continue on to Cape Town, South Africa.