Brooke Ferguson, front row fifth from left, and her Imagine Your Korea crew-mates. Photo supplied

Ocean race on hiatus for Courtenay woman and crew

Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race halted in the Philippines

A Courtenay woman and her crew-mates competing in an ocean yacht race had been stranded in the Philippines when the event was put on hold March 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Brooke Ferguson is part of Imagine Your Korea, one of 11 teams that had been competing in the Clipper 2019-20 Round the World Yacht Race.

The fleet was due to race across the North Pacific Ocean towards Seattle, starting March 21. The event, however, has been postponed for about 10 months.

“I’m trying to leave the Philippines by midnight Friday,” Ferguson said by email Tuesday, March 17. “A tad tricky at the moment.”

The teams, which had been quarantined after finishing Race 9 of the 40,000 nautical mile race, have since been released and are able to travel home.

The Clipper event is the brainchild of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world. This is the 12th year of the race, which started in London Sept. 1 and was slated to finish this August. Other than the skipper and first-mate, crews are comprised of everyday people, who complete a training course before taking to the seas.

Ferguson’s team consists of 41 men and 20 women from 15 countries. The youngest member is 20 and the oldest is 69. It was sitting in sixth place when the race was postponed.

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