Tough luck for 11th Hour Racing

Published on November 11th, 2021

For an organization that works with the sailing community and maritime industries to advance solutions and practices that protect and restore the health of our ocean, 11th Hour Racing has had some tough luck while walking the walk.

During the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, Vestas 11th Hour Racing was dismasted approximately 100 miles southeast of the Falkland Islands with the crew forced to cut away the broken mast, rigging, and sails to avoid damage to the hull.

“The decision did not come lightly,” explained skipper Charlie Enright. “We never want to put anything in the ocean. We set out in this campaign to be the most sustainable team in the race, and we are not going to let this incident stop that. We are going to offset our entire carbon footprint and we are working with 11th Hour Racing to make sure that is the case.”

With 11th Hour Racing again backing Enright’s campaign for the next edition of the race, his teammates Simon Fisher (GBR) and co-skipper Justine Mettraux (SUI) on their 60-foot IMOCA 11th Hour Racing Team Alaka’i, were dismasted off the coast of A Coruña on November 10 during the Transat Jacques Vabre, a 5,800 nautical mile race from Le Havre, France to Martinique, in the Caribbean.

Enright and teammate Pascal Bidégorry who are on their newly launched IMOCA Mālama also competing in the doublehanded race, have been training against Alaka’I to prepare for the round the world race.

“Incidents do happen, and in highly pressured situations, the team has to make instinctive decisions taking into account human, economic and environmental implications,” said Damian Foxall, sustainability program manager at 11th Hour Racing Team. “Clearly it is best for the environment that nothing is lost overboard. We will be taking the environmental aspects into account as part of our campaign footprint.”

After the 2017-18 race, the team published a sustainability report which took into account the dismasting, the fatal collision with a fishing vessel in Hong Kong, all the normal requirements of their campaign, and how they offset their carbon footprint.

To revisit that report, click here.

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