Tragic global yacht race sailor Sarah Young to be buried at sea


An amateur sailor who died after being swept into the Pacific Ocean while competing in a global yacht race will be laid to rest at sea.

The 12 teams will each hold a minute's silence aboard their vessels to remember Sarah Young, 40, who was washed into the sea by a large wave as she tended to the mainsail aboard her 70ft yacht on Friday.

Ms Young, a company owner from London, is the second crew member to have died on the IchorCoal vessel during the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race.

Drawing upon centuries-old maritime traditions, her crewmates will bury her body at sea at around 1am British time on Sunday, race organisers said.

Three readings will be delivered, including the ballad Sea Fever by the English poet John Masefield.

As she is laid to rest by her team, sailors aboard the other 11 yachts will gather together on their individual vessels and mark the solemn moment with a minute's silence, race organisers said.

In a statement, organisers said: "Following guidance from the doctor and our medical advisers and consultation with the Maritime Coastguard Agency, plus Sarah's partner, friends, family and the crew, we have decided to proceed with a burial at sea as soon as weather conditions permit, because of the long time it will take to reach closest landfall."

Ms Young, who was not tethered to the yacht, died in the mid-north Pacific at around 1.44pm UK time on Friday as the boat sailed in rough weather from China to Seattle, in America.

She was recovered from the sea, after being washed overboard, by crewmates who tried to resuscitate her, but she never regained consciousness, a race spokeswoman said.

Race organisers said: "We appreciate that this will be a difficult and emotional time for the crew, the entire fleet and the whole Clipper Race family. Our thoughts remain with them all and with Sarah's partner, family and friends at this difficult time.

"Sarah was much loved, and will be missed deeply by all who knew her. On behalf of her family and friends, they have asked us to request that they are now allowed to grieve and remember Sarah in peace."

Ms Young's parents are both deceased and she has no siblings. Race organisers said they have been in touch with her elderly aunt in New Zealand who gave the ceremony her blessing.

Friends of Ms Young, who was director of Bespoke Establishments, which helps manage properties for wealthy clients, said they are "heartbroken" at her tragic death.

Fellow IchorCoal crew member Elliotte Ashcroft wrote on Facebook: "Thoughts and prayers and much love and support go out to the onboard crew, Daz, Sarahs family and all who knew this witty, ballsy, caring lady."

Louise Thomas, a former teammate and close friend of Ms Young, said: "My boat wife, my best buddy has been taken away from me today and I'm absolutely heartbroken and devastated."

Peter Thornton, skipper of the GREAT Britain yacht, another of the competing vessels, said: "Extremely sad news about Sarah and we are all quite shocked and suddenly acutely aware of where and what we are in this world."

Her death comes six months after another crew member died aboard the boat.

Andrew Ashman, 49, from Kent, was killed on the yacht after being knocked unconscious while sailing off the Portuguese coast last September.