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Geraldton Western Australia arrived at Jack London Square at about 0300 this morning. ©2012 Kristen Sotebier
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
April 3, 2012
That was the chant when the tenth and last Clipper Race boat, Geraldton Western Australia, arrived at Jack London Square in Oakland in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Despite the hour, 40-50 people gathered to welcome them, led by Richmond Yacht Club, their official greeters.
Geraldton had been through the wringer for three days. During a powerful storm on Saturday, while they were still 400 nm distant from San Francisco Bay, a huge wave took out their steering and injured four crew members. A rescue by the Coast Guard took the two most dire casualties off the boat and onto the cutter Bertholf, which rushed them to the hospital. Jane Hutchins, a doctor from Kent, UK, suffered broken ribs, a cracked vertebrae and a ruptured spleen, but she's expected to make a full recovery. Nik Brobora of London had a pelvic sprain and has been released.
"After a great welcome last night," said skipper Juan Coetzer, "today we’ve started the work to get the Geraldton Western Australia boat in order, ready for race re-start from San Franscisco Bay on 14 April.”
For video of their arrival, see http://youtu.be/JGl0ay04q9E. For video of the rescue, see www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAxsdPbJwgQ&NR=1&feature=endscreen. For more on the Clipper Race, see www.clipperroundtheworld.com.