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7 December 2004, 09:55 am
Yacht Diverts Due To Medical Emergency
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2004/2005 Global Challenge

In case you're wondering why Team Stelmar seem to have taken totally the wrong direction we can confirm the yacht has diverted her course to take an ill Crew Volunteer - 35-year-old Karen SMITH from Oxford - to Puerto Williams, in Chile, just north of Cape Horn.

Karen's family has been informed of the situation and is in communication with Race HQ. Although the illness is not life threatening, action was taken now before the yacht rounded Cape Horn and raced into the Southern Ocean, where an evacuation would prove increasingly difficult.

The rest of the crew aboard Team Stelmar are all safe and well, as are the other 11 yacht teams racing.

Team Stelmar, skippered by Clive COSBY, diverted her course at 15.41 (GMT). We had a quick chat to Andrew Roberts, Project Director who explained what will happen to Team Stelmar once they finish their divert: 'Following the evacuation they will need to rejoin the race as soon as possible so they can remain in contact with the rest of the race fleet - providing their own security in the waters of the Southern Ocean. Current estimates show that they will be back and racing in less than 24 hours.'

Race Headquarters is in constant communication with the yacht and we will provide further information as soon as possible.

Update: 7 Dec 2004, 09:05 Karen was landed with no problems, and transferred to the care of the Chilean Health Services. She has been released from hospital and is now in a guest house owned by an associate of Challenge Business.

Rachel Anning (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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