The Volvo Ocean Race sailing yacht involved in a collision that killed a Hong Kong fisherman is being shipped to New Zealand for repairs, where the crew plans to rejoin the race.
The deadly crash happened at the end of Leg 4 of the race, near Hong Kong, when the 65-foot Vestas 11th Hour Racing boat collided with a commercial fishing boat. All ten fishermen on board were thrown into the water, and one of them died.
Vestas will miss Leg 6 of the race, which runs from Hong Kong to Auckland, New Zealand. Instead, the yacht has been loaded onto a freighter in Hong Kong, destined to meet the race in Auckland. Repairs will get underway in New Zealand. Vestas needs a new bow section, which is being built at Persico Marine in Italy, in order to comply with the Volvo Ocean 65 class rule.
The team’s goal is to have repairs finished in time for inshore racing in New Zealand and hte start of Leg 7 to Itajai, Brazil, scheduled for March 18.
“Along with our colleagues in the Volvo Ocean Race and the other competing teams, we have all offered our sincere condolences to all those affected by the incident,” said Vestas 11th Hour Racing co-founder, Mark Towill. “Now with a seriously damaged boat and a new set of challenges to surmount, we have had to map out the necessary steps that will enable our team to get back in the race.”