British sailor injured in Clipper race accident off Hobart

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HOBART, Australia (AP) — A 54-year-old British sailor sustained broken ribs and a head cut after a Clipper Round the World yacht race entry was hit by a breaking wave in the Southern Ocean.

Race officials said Thursday that the 70-foot Northern Ireland entry Derry-Londonderry-Doire with injured sailor Michael Gaskin aboard was diverted to Tasmania.

Gaskin was injured when a wave broke over the yacht in rough seas approximately 130 nautical miles southwest of Tasmania. Team medics administered first aid.

"The skipper reports that Mike is in a stable condition and is receiving pain relief," race director Justin Taylor said in a statement. "The conditions were quite challenging at the time."

Once Gaskin is transferred to a hospital, the yacht will continue the race.

The yacht is one of 12 in the round the world race. It is on the fourth of a 14-race series — and the first stage of its Australian leg — from Albany, Western Australia to Sydney.

Some of the race fleet will begin arriving into Sydney on Sunday.

All Clipper yachts will take part in the Sydney to Hobart race beginning Dec. 26 in Sydney. The final leg of its Australian series will be to Airlie Beach on the north Queensland state coast.

The 11-month-long race covers six continents and more than 64,000 kilometers (40,000 miles).

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