Ronstan

Man overboard in Volvo Ocean Race

Published on March 26th, 2018

(March 26, 2018; Day 9) – On a day when the Volvo Ocean Race teams were facing snow squalls and westerly winds above 40 knots in the deep south of the Pacific Ocean, Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag reports that crew member John Fisher (UK) has fallen overboard today at approximately 13:42 UTC.

The team, along with the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), has been conducting a search and rescue operation to recover Fisher who was wearing survival equipment when he went overboard. The remaining crew are reported safe.

The incident took place approximately 1,400 miles west of Cape Horn. The wind in the search area is a strong 35-knot westerly, with accompanying sea state. Water temperature is 9°C (48.2°F). There is daylight, but weather conditions are forecast to deteriorate in the coming hours.

Given the gale force conditions it is not an option to divert any of the other six Volvo Ocean Race competitors, who are at least 200 miles further east and downwind of SHK/Scallywag, to assist in the search operation.

The MRCC has identified a ship approximately 400 nautical miles away and it has been diverted to the scene. As of 18:55 UTC, there was no additional information to share.

This is the second man overboard incident for the 2017-18 race, with the previous occurrence also on Scallywag when crew member Alex Gough was washed overboard and successfully recovered during the leg from Australia to Hong Kong.

Difficult condition are expected for another 24 hours, before another short break brings more moderate winds. But as the boats approach the famed Cape Horn, the forecast is for conditions to deteriorate significantly, with howling winds and towering seas predicted.

Team Brunel continues to lead the fleet in their push eastwards, with race veterans like skipper Bouwe Bekking and navigator Andrew Cape shepherding the rookies on their team through the travails of the Southern Ocean.

“The young dogs help to make the boat go fast, but they have never been bitten badly in the butt and we don’t want them to experience that,” said Bekking before learning of the MOB incident. “Down here things can quickly snowball in the wrong direction. In a blink, 30 knots can turn into 40-plus and then it is crash and burn.”

True words…


 


COURSE: Starting on March 18, Leg 7 takes the teams from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí, Brazil. Race organizers choose to estimate the tactical distance for each leg rather than list the actual distance, an unusual decision that’s revealed once the race starts and the tracker lists the actual distance to finish. The VOR says Leg 7 is 7600 nm whereas the truth is more like 6623 nm with an ETA in Itajaí between April 4 and 6.

For crew lists … click here.

Race detailsTrackerScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

Leg 7 – Position Report (19:00 UTC)
1. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 3091.1 nm DTF
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 34.3 nm DTL
3. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 42.1 nm DTL
4. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 50.2 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 51.1 nm DTL
6. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 63.5 nm DTL
Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead

Overall Results (after 6 of 11 legs)
1. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 39 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 34
3. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 26
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 23
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 23
6. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 20
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 12

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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