WITH a man overboard, one team forced to pull out for safety reasons and strong head winds stalling progress, it has been a testing last 24 hours in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
The 12-strong fleet, which set out from Hobart in Tasmania on January 2 in race 7 is expected to start arriving in Brisbane tomorrow.
But with just hours to go until they reach dry land, team PSP Logistics, sponsored by the Fareham based company of the same name, was forced to retire as a safety precaution.
This was because of a failure of the deck around the base of the starboard running backstay, which means they can no longer tension it.
Old Pulteney, whose crew includes Charles Slater, 39, from Hampshire, also recovered crew member John Yuen, who fell overboard on Saturday.
Switzerland, whose crew includes former Southampton City College principal Lindsey Noble and OneDLL, skippered by Cowes based sailing veteran Ollie Cotterell, were chasing down the front runner with less than 16 miles between them.
Also taking part are 18-year-old Edward Collison from Wickham, 19-year-old Jacob Carter from Portchester as well as Steve Mabey, 47, Dave Richards, 63, Kate Hepworth, 40, and Charlie Pickering, 58, all from Southampton.