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Volvo Ocean Race: Barkow to Replace Lush

Published on December 27th, 2017

The British sailor Annie Lush, who faced an injury last week in Leg 3, will not be part of the Team Brunel crew leaving Melbourne and heading to Hong Kong on January 2, 2018 for Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Lush needs to focus on her recovery first. Lush is replaced by American Sally Barkow, teammate of Lush and Ehler in the previous Volvo Ocean Race on board Team SCA.

Lush was examined at the hospital on the 25th of December after arriving in Melbourne. The research had shown that she has broken two bones in her foot and one in her back. An operation is not necessary, rest is sufficient.

Lush said of her injury, “The doctors expect fractures to mend with 4 to 6 weeks of rest. In the end it’s not too bad, at least there’s no surgery needed. It’s hard to not be able to join the team for the upcoming leg but I have no choice. The only thing I can do now is focus on my recovery and make sure I get strong and back to the team as soon as possible (with perhaps a bit of spying on the other teams from my laptop).”

“I know Sally really well and know she will fulfill my role very well. With her, the team gets an experienced sailor who knows how it works and what is needed in this race.”

Team Brunel Skipper Bekking expressed, “Annie is a fighter. We really had to slow her down on board the last week and I’m glad that it is relatively well. We were afraid it was worse but we had no choice. The only thing we could do was making sure we arrived in Melbourne as quickly as possible. That was her best and only option to get off board. This is a forced replacement that we would of course not have made if it was not necessary. But I have full confidence in Sally and her qualities. It’s great that she is willing to step in. ”

The Volvo Ocean Race sailors are well prepared for such incidents. At the time of the incident, Lush was standing at the rear grinder, with Pete behind her trimming the main, when the boat hit a wave. Lush and Burling were swept against the rear guard. Lush ended up on the deck and was unable to stand up independently.

Lush said, “When I was there, I knew I would not wash off because I was clipped on, but I could not do much more than stay there. Pete called up Bouwe and Alberto who quickly arrived on deck and helped drag me to the cabin hatch, where I was lifted through and carried into a bunk by Carlo and Kyle. Strangely enough it all went exactly as we had trained before the race in our medic course.

“Everyone was in the same position even the hatch and bunk were on the same side. This kind of preparation really pays off. I did not feel unsafe for a moment and the boys did a great job keeping my back straight and the pain minimal, not an easy feat when the boat’s doing 20+ knots in big seas.”

Annie Lush and the team received a lot of messages from family, friends and fans from all over the world. In this short video she wants to thanks everyone for their support and messages.

The first hours and days after the incident there was constant contact with the medical team of the Volvo Ocean Race and with the medical specialists of the team back in Holland. Skipper Bekking said, “The service, knowledge and expertise of all involved was excellent. You have to imagine that we are there out in the middle of the Southern Ocean, then it’s nice that you can immediately switch with the different experts. Not only with the doctors from the race but definitely also with our own medical specialists from the Bergman Clinic and doctor Verstappen.”

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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.

Source: Volvo Ocean Race

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