After a crash with a fishing boat last Friday, Vestas 11th Hour Racing has announced that they have notified Volvo Ocean Race that the team will not participate in the scheduled in-shore racing in Hong Kong and will not participate in Leg 5 of the race from Hong Kong to Guangzhou.
The team published the following announcement on their website;
Vestas 11th Hour Racing has informed Volvo Ocean Race that the team will not be participating in inshore racing in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China, as well as Leg 5 from Hong Kong to Guangzhou.
The team is currently coordinating necessary repairs to the boat caused by the collision with a non-racing vessel on Saturday 20th January. For more information, see here.
“First and foremost, our thoughts and condolences are with the families affected by this tragic incident,” said Mark Towill from Hong Kong.
“At this time, we are still assessing all of our options to return to the race,” said Charlie Enright. “We once again thank everyone for their continued support.”
Practice racing today, followed by the In-Port Race and Around Hong Kong Race this weekend as well as pro-am racing at the start of next week, are all programmed to take place in Hong Kong.
The fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s will then depart in Leg 5 for Guangzhou on January 31st for the next stopover in mainland China.
Vestas 11th Hour Racing, what many consider the local team competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, was involved in a collision with another vessel approximately 30 miles from the finish line of Leg 4 in Hong Kong last Friday.
Race Control at Volvo Ocean Race headquarters was informed of the incident by the team at approximately 17:39 UTC on Friday, January 19, 2018. All of the crew on Vestas 11th Hour Racing were reported to be safe.
According to the Race’s website, the roster for Vestas 11th Hour Racing includes Charlie Enright (skipper), Simon Fisher, Mark Towill (Team director), Damian Foxall, Nick Dana, Tom Johnson, Tony Mutter, Stacey Jackson, Hannah Diamond, Roberto Bermúdez de Castro Muñoz, Phil Harmer, and Jena Hansen.
The 2018 Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover is scheduled to open at Fort Adams in Newport on May 8th.
Update: 1:30 am EST on January 20th via Volvo Ocean Race Headquarters on its website.
The Volvo Ocean Race is deeply saddened to inform that the collision between Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a team competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, and a fishing vessel has resulted in a fatality of a crew of the fishing vessel.
On behalf of the Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, we offer our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the deceased.
The incident occurred approximately 30 miles from the finish of Leg 4, outside of Hong Kong waters. Race Control at Volvo Ocean Race headquarters was informed of the collision by the team moments after it happened at approximately 17:23 UTC on Friday January 19, 2018 (01:23local time on Saturday morning).
The Vestas 11th Hour Racing team, none of whom were injured in the collision, issued a Mayday distress call on behalf of the other vessel, alerting the Hong Kong Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (HKMRCC) and undertook a search and rescue mission.
HKMRCC informed Race Control that a commercial vessel in the area was able to rescue nine of the crew and that a tenth crew member was taken by helicopter to hospital. HKMRCC has since confirmed the death of the air-lifted crew member.
Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing are now focused on providing immediate support to those affected by this incident.
All involved organisations are co-operating with the authorities and are fully supporting the ongoing investigation.