Team Vestas Wind consider building new boat

Scott 9/12/2014
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Desperate times: Team Vestas Wind ran into a reef in the Indian Ocean just over a week ago.

Team Vestas Wind is 'exploring the opportunity' of re-entering the Volvo Ocean Race with a new boat just over a week after their Volvo Ocean 65 ran into a reef in the Indian Ocean.







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Team Vestas Wind blame human error for Volvo Ocean Race crash

Matt Jones 9/12/2014
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Stranded: Incident near Mauritius saw Team Vestas Wind retire from second leg.

Team Vestas Wind have revealed that a failure to properly check electronic charts for the wherea­bouts of seamounts led to them be­ing grounded on a reef in the Indian Ocean and retiring from the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.

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– Team Vestas Wind consider building new boat

Skipper Chris Nicholson and navigator Wouter Verbraak con­firmed in a team media conference call yesterday that “human error” was to blame for the boat hitting a reef, forcing all nine crew mem­bers on board to abandon ship on November 29 near Mauritius.

Aus­tralian Nicholson said that as the duo were going about their normal duties of discussing routes to take, they noticed they were entering an area of water where seamounts would be present.

A seamount is a mountain rising from the seafloor, typically formed from extinct volcanoes, that does not reach to the water’s surface. There are an estimated 100,000 seamounts around the globe.

Nicholson said: “I asked what the depths, currents and wave condi­tions would be and Wouter said depths range from 3,000m to 40m. 40m depth is a perfectly safe level to cross any piece of land.

“There was a lot of danger as soon as we hit the reef. The rudders broke off almost instantaneously.

“I feared for the worst but the lev­els of effort from the crew and the way they handled it shone through. But, I need to back that up by say­ing it was down to human error. We didn’t look into the charts properly.

“There is a glimmer of hope we can get back into the race.”

Dutchman Verbraak added: “In hindsight we would have contin­ued to zoom in on the area on the electronic charts much more. Not doing so is the big mistake I made. The good thing is that we didn’t make any more after that.

“It was the worst moment in sail­ing for me, but also the best too, because of the teamwork. That is one of the things to cherish from it.”

With Vestas out of the second leg and definitely unable to repair the boat in time for the start of the third early in the new year, the Abu Dhabi-to-Sanya voyage will start with only six teams.

For now, Team Brunel are leading the way to the Middle East, with the Dutch team holding an eight-mile advantage over Dongfeng Race Team as the second leg approaches the 1,000 nautical mile to go stage.

After being overtaked on Satur­day evening, Abu Dhabi Ocean Rac­ing have slipped to third and were 29 miles off the pace late last night.

Team Alvimedica, Mapfre and Team SCA range in distance from 293 to 389 miles off the leaders in fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

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ADOR skipper Ian Walker pleased with Volvo Ocean Race leg 2 progress

Matt Jones 3/12/2014
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Leading the way: Ian Walker.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker talks to Sport360 reporter Matt Jones about the team's leg two progress heading to Abu Dhabi.

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– Team Vestas Wind finally escape island

– ADOR amongst leaders at halway stage of leg 2

It has been an eventful start to proceedings for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet with Team Vestas Wind being grounded and a set of tricky circumstances welcoming the boats as they make their way to the UAE from Cape Town.

Keep up to date with all the latest news, images and videos from the race right here on Sport360.com.

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