Team Vestas Arrives in Itajaí

Published on April 16th, 2018

Itajaí, Brazil (April 16, 2018) – Vestas 11th Hour Racing has arrived in Itajaí – one week after leaving the Falkland Islands under jury rig, following a dismasting on Leg 7. The team had passed Cape Horn in second place and was racing north towards Brazil when they dismasted on March 30, some 100 miles southeast of the Falkland Islands.

The crew motored to the archipelago and set about sourcing materials to construct a jury rig in order to get them to Itajaí in time for repairs and to begin Leg 8 on April 22, 2018.

At 1000 local time today, Vestas 11th Hour Racing sailed into the Rio Itajaí-açu with three modified sails and a jury rig fabricated in the Falkland Islands. Covering 1600 miles in nine days, the delivery crew of five were all smiles as the shore team, fellow competitors and Volvo Ocean Race staff greeted the boat in the Race Village.

The blue boat docked into Brazil having been delivered the trip by sailor Damian Foxall and members of the team’s shore crew – Diego Torrado, Andres Guerra Font, Spencer Loxton and Diego Turell.

“With a jury rig in the boat, we really didn’t know what the capacity of the boat was,” said six-time Volvo Ocean Race sailor, Damian Foxall. “So we left the Falkland Islands with multiple options and backup plans, but after 12 hours of motor-sailing, we quickly realized we could make it to Itajai with enough time to get the boat race-ready for the next leg.”

“We saw 56 knots of breeze at one point with the little rig still up and storm sails keeping us stable,” continued Foxall.

“It would not have been possible without the sailors and locals preparing the boat so well in the Falklands,” said Diego Torrado, the shore team manager, who also took part in the delivery to Itajaí. “We are so thankful for the amazing, experienced delivery crew onboard. It was fun and hard, but now we have the the boat in Itajai with five days to get it ready for the next leg.”

Foxall and Torrado were joined by Andres Guerra – one of the team’s Oakcliff Sailing shore team volunteers who also was experienced in sailing along the South American coast. Spencer Loxton, from New Zealand, worked and sailed with the team in pre-race training last summer as both shore and sailing crew; and Diego Stefani from Uruguay, who is not only a local professional yachtsman, but also had helped Foxall’s former team Groupama when they were dismasted off Argentina in 2012.

Immediately after arriving, the sailing and shore teams removed all the gear from the boat to prepare for the Boatyard staff to remove the jury rig, lift the yacht from the water and fit a new Southern Spars mast, which has already been transported to Itajaí.

Just like the other Volvo Ocean 65s, the Volvo Ocean Race shore team will now give the full service to the boat planned for the stopover which includes an ultrasound scan of the structures to make sure there is no delamination or core sheer.

As all the other teams have now completed their service, the Boatyard crew will focus all their efforts on getting Vestas 11th Hour Racing race ready. The rig was prepped before today’s arrival and will be stepped into the boat soon. They will then complete all the necessary structural and load tests on land to ensure the safety of the new rig.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us in the next five days, and it has been a massive team effort to get here,” said Torrado. “But we are ready to continue to work hard and get back on the water for the next leg.”

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Leg 7 – Final Results
1. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), Finished on Apr 3 at 14:45:18 UTC
2. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), Finished on Apr 3 at 15:00:08 UTC
3. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), Finished on Apr 5 at 04:38:24 UTC
4. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), Finished on Apr 7 at 04:12:44 UTC
5. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), Finished on Apr 8 at 07:59:09 UTC
RET. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
RET. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
DTF – Distance to Finish; DTL – Distance to Lead; RET – Retired

Overall Results (after 7 of 11 legs)
1. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 46 points
2. MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP), 45
3. Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED), 36
4. Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED), 33
5. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS), 26
6. Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA), 23
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR), 20

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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