Less than a month since Greenings ran aground on the opening day of Race 3, the salvage operation to remove the yacht from the Cape Peninsula is now close to completion

November 30

Efforts to remove the Greenings yacht from the Cape Peninsula are nearing completion.

At the time of the incident on 31 October 2017, and after all crew were quickly and safely evacuated from the yacht with no injuries reported, Navalmartin, the Casualty Management Service provider of the Clipper Race’s insurers, promptly dispatched local Admiralty Expert and Surveyor, Peter Brinkley from Cape Town and instructed a salvage team to assess the situation and attempt the salvage of the yacht in the first crucial hours.

Pollution control was one of the main concerns for the team, which took immediate action to minimise any risk and remove fuel from on board whilst attempting to overcome the ingress of sand within the hull.

Following careful coordinated analysis and reviewing the state of Greenings over the following 48 hours, it was decided that the yacht would take no further action in the Clipper 2017-18 Race, and subsequently that it was beyond repair and would be assigned to be removed by appointed salvors.

The Subtech Group/Ardent who specialises in the provision of marine services, was employed to remove the stricken yacht, working with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the casualty management team to oversee the cleanup operation and wreck removal.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston explained: “Once the assessment had been made that the vessel was not repairable, our aim was very clear, we needed to deal with the situation quickly with the priority of minimising environmental impact and returning the beach to its original state. That was vitally important.”

Continues below…

Explaining the initial priority, Peter Brinkley, Chief Engineer attending on behalf of Navalmartin, the Clipper Race and its insurers, says: “The first task was to remove all the diesel fuel from the tanks. This was done quickly and no spillages occurred.

“We faced a number of early challenges to the removal which included obtaining access to the beach as it is in a very remote location, and also a bush fire started in the surrounding veld part way through the operation which delayed efforts for a few days.

“It was a priority to work quickly, the varying weather conditions only gave us small windows of time to carry out the task at hand. Time was working against us: We had to deal with the incessant influx of sand at high water brought in by the breaking waves and exacerbated by bad weather. We have to deal with the added challenge that no vehicles would be allowed though the reserve to access or move the yacht.

Greenings yacht aground on a beach



“Only the keel and some of the bottom and port side shell remain, and they are buried in the sand, however we expect these final parts to be removed in the coming days and the beach will then be restored.”

 “Much of the hull and deck gear has already been air-lifted away from the site.”

Speaking about the loss of CV24, Sir Robin says: “She had completed two round the world voyages, one of which she was the winner, as LMAX Exchange, and had an unbeaten streak in the 2017-18 race.

“Many of our crew called her home and will have some long-lasting memories of their time on board. She was also an important member of the Clipper Race team and of course it’s always just desperately sad to see a fine vessel finish its story like this.”

 A full MAIB / MCA investigation is currently underway into the reasons for the grounding and the Clipper Race shall publish the findings as and when they are available.



November 13

Skippers of racing boats in the Clipper Round The World Race have welcomed crewmembers of Greenings to join their teams and carry on competing in the race.

Race organisers announced on 1 November that the yacht was withdrawing from the race after it ran aground halfway between Cape Town and Cape Point.

Each of the 11 remaining skippers and their crews, have offered to welcome former Greenings crew members on board their boats to compete as part of their respective teams for the remaining legs of the series.

Andy Burns, GREAT Britain skipper, said: “Any of the team looking for a boat to continue the race on will be welcomed with open arms by none other than GREAT Britain. Because that’s what we do best.”

Continues below…

Six Greenings crew members were able to continue Race 3: Dell Latitude Rugged Race on board HotelPlanner.com. Others Greenings crew members are to be allocated to the other 11 boats, and will be competing in future legs, across the fleet so that they can continue their Clipper Race journey.

Race Director, Mark Light, said: “It’s been fantastic to see such a positive story emerge from what has been a very unfortunate incident.

“It’s been important for us to get the Greenings crew back on the water to compete in the Clipper Race and we have been speaking to crew members who are due to complete future legs to find out what their preferences are for continuing.

“I’d like to thank everybody for their patience whilst this process has taken place and I am delighted to confirm we have been able to find space for everybody wishing to continue with the race.”

Managing Director of Greenings, Andrew Greening, said: “Despite the yacht (CV24) taking no further part in the Clipper 2017-18 Race, I’m pleased to see that the Greenings team ethos will live on throughout the fleet and we will continue to support our crew members who have been reallocated to other teams. I’ve always said that there is something special about this team and whilst they may be continuing their respective journeys on board different yachts, I’m sure that they will continue to maintain that close bond that they have already forged and I look forward to seeing them at future stopovers.”