LISTEN: Team Vestas Wind provide update on Volvo Ocean Race accident
Published on December 8th, 2014
Abu Dhabi, UAE (December 8, 2014) – Team Vestas Wind commercial and sailing teams, together with Vestas CMO Morten Albæk and CEO of Volvo Ocean Race, Knut Frostad, today hosted a joint press conference in Abu Dhabi to discuss the implications of the grounding of the Vestas Wind on a reef in the Indian Ocean on 29th November past.
Skipper Chris Nicholson and navigator Wouter Verbraak joined the conference on behalf of the crew. Whilst Nicholson (Nico) detailed the precariousness of the situation experienced, he highlighted the outstanding composure shown by his crew throughout the process and praised the level of assistance received from all involved.
“The culture we have in this Team is really open and honest”, Nico confirmed. “It was a stressful time, but we need to back up and remember that this was bought on by a simple human error…we didn’t look at the chart and we didn’t zoom in enough.”
When asked about the future of Team Vestas Wind in the Volvo Ocean Race, Vestas Chief Marketing Office, Morten Albæk stated: “It’s Vestas’ clear mission to get Team Vestas Wind back into the Volvo Ocean Race. It’s going to be a joint effort with our close partners at Powerhouse, led by Vestas as the primary sponsor of the boat.”
Regarding a status on the grounded boat, Albæk debated the future of the Vestas Wind and outlined options currently available to sponsors.
“The expectation is that the boat cannot be repaired…(but) it’s a complex process to get a boat back into the race. We’ll do everything we can to investigate the possibility of a new boat and will communicate our intentions at the beginning of the next leg.”
Editor’s note: There was some mis-information provided by Vestas during the press conference about the ownership of their Volvo Ocean 65. After the press conference, CEO Knut Frostad clarified the boat ownership in an email to Scuttlebutt: “The boat is not owned by the Volvo Ocean Race and it was not communicated correctly by Vestas. It is owned by a leasing company that Volvo Ocean Race helped facilitate for Vestas, and from whom Vestas is leasing the boat. There are other teams that also have leasing as the financing for their boat.”