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Ben drafted in to fill vital post on Clipper race yacht
A HAMPSHIRE sailing veteran has been drafted in to replace a skipper in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race who suddenly quit.
Winchester-based Ben Bowley has arrived in Cape Town to take over the helm of Team Garmin from Australian Damian Parnham.
The exact reasons for Damian’s sudden departure were unclear last night, but race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “The need to replace a skipper in the race from time to time is not unusual.
“Leading an amateur team in the world’s longest ocean race is very demanding.”
The news came after the second leg of the race, from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town, drew to a close on Monday with the Qingdao, skippered by Gareth Glover from Gosport, arriving in last position.
Gareth said: “We thought we would try something different rather than stay with the rest of the pack.
“It’s not all about chasing the boats though, we wanted to try a different tactic like we did in leg one which paid off for us where we won a podium position.
“It’s just a shame it didn’t work out for us on this occasion.
“The crew were fantastic, even when we had really light winds and they could have felt disheartened or frustrated they didn’t.”
Competitors taking part in the third leg will depart for Albany, Western Australia on Monday.
Those taking part from Hampshire include former college principal Lindsey Noble, who team Switzerland came in sixth place.
The 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race takes eleven months to visit six continents and will finish back where it started in front of Tower Bridge London in July next year.
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