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Tuesday, 20 February, 2001, 11:15 GMT
Bickering splits yacht race crew
Start of the race in Barcelona
Six futuristic yachts are taking part in the race.
Three crew members taking part in the round-the-world ocean challenge The Race have parted company with British yachtsman Tony Bullimore amid reports of on-board bickering.

Bullimore's catamaran Team Legato was one of six futuristic yachts to leave Barcelona at the end of December last year for the 27,000-mile race.

Tony Bullimore
Tony Bullimore will continue with the race
BBC radio reporter Rob Salvidge was among three crew members who left the boat when it docked in Wellington, New Zealand, on Monday.

He said: "There was continuing unrest which I felt wasn't being sorted out to do with certain interpersonal issues regarding the crew and a big ocean racing boat isn't the sort of environment to have ongoing bickering.

"I felt that sometimes my personal and professional integrity was being compromised to do with the story I was telling. I came on the boat to make a film, to make a documentary and also report back via radio reports to everybody back home and I wasn't always feeling I could freely tell the true story."

'Irrational fear'

He said he felt he had also developed an irrational fear to do with safety.

Mr Salvidge said he did not believe he was the only person on board to be feeling the same way.

But he said there were no hard feelings when he left the yacht and wished the remaining seven crew members the best of luck with the rest of the race.

In a statement issued on Tuesday Tony Bullimore said three crewmen, including Salvidge, had left the boat for "medical reasons".

Team Legato is now 7,000 miles behind race leader, Club Med, and will now have to sit out a 60-hour penalty in accordance with The Race rules.

Bullimore was the only British starter in The Race following the withdrawal of Pete Goss after he lost his boat Team Philips in the north Atlantic.

The 61-year-old sailor is best known for surviving for four days in a tiny air-pocket underneath the up-turned hull of his capsized boat in the Southern Ocean three years ago.

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31 Dec 00 | Other Sports
Bullimore misses sailing start
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