Saturday morning I woke to the terrible, sad news that there had been a tragic accident on board IchorCoal and a crew member had been killed.
it was a huge shock as although we know that ocean racing is inherently dangerous, it was brought home to us all what can happen when things do go wrong. I can only imagine how the crew of IchorCoal were feeling as they left the race and diverted to Porto in Portugal. My heart goes out to the family, friends and crew of Andy Ashman. His memory will live long in the Clipper family and beyond.
We often use the term ‘Clipper Family’ and it really is like a family. Everyone from past crew, future crew, current crew, their families and Clipper Staff have been hugely affected by the loss of one of our own. I didn’t know Andy, but I’m still devastated that he lost his life. He was a sailor and was one of us, from what I’ve read about him since, he sounds like an amazing man.
The crew of IchorCoal have received a lot of support and through the tears and the grief, they made the brave decision to carry on with the race. So today they slipped the lines and left Portugal heading for Brazil to complete Race 1. It was a brave decision and goes to show that it will be their strength as a team that will get them through the pain of the coming days. They have Andy’s name on the boat and will carry his memory with them always.
IchorCoal Crew – Stay safe and find strength in each other. We are with you in spirit, as I’m sure is Andy.
RIP Andy Ashman, Fair winds and a following sea, always.