VIDEO: A race against time

Published on April 9th, 2018

Vestas 11th Hour Racing is not competing at the level they hoped in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. After winning the first leg, a series of calamities have them now squarely on the back foot.

It began with a collision just prior to the Leg 4 finish in Hong Kong, which resulted in the sinking of a fishing boat in which one person onboard did not survive. Also significant was hull damage to their Volvo Ocean 65 which kept them from finishing Leg 4 and competing in Legs 5 and 6.

But they were back for the big one, Leg 7 from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí, Brazil. And they were doing well too, having passed Cape Horn in second position. However, that was until March 30 when they lost their rig on Day 13, approximately 100 miles southeast of the Falkland Islands.

At the time of the dismasting, due to weather conditions and the location of the breakage, the only option was to cut away the rig to keep the hull from being damaged and risking the safety of the crew onboard.

After cutting loose the mast, the team arrived a day later in Port Stanley of the Falkland Islands to begin working through logistical options to get the boat to Itajaí in time to step a new mast and be ready for the start of Leg 8.

But after leaving the Falkland Islands on April 1 for Itajai, they were forced to return due to a mechanical issue that needed assessment and repair.

It was not until April 7 when they left Stanley Harbour on the 1,500-mile journey north with an increased fuel capacity, the aid of a temporary mast, and repaired sails sourced from local boat owners. They expect the delivery to take 10-12 days.

They are now in a race against the clock with the upcoming schedule of an In-Port Race in Itajaí on April 20 and the start of Leg 8 on April 22 to Newport, USA.

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2017-18 Edition: Entered Teams – Skippers
Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR)
Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED)

Background: Racing the one design Volvo Ocean 65, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race begins in Alicante, Spain on October 22 2017 with the final finish in The Hague, Netherlands on June 30 2018. In total, the 11-leg race will visit 12 cities in six continents: Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, and The Hague. A maximum of eight teams will compete.

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