The bad news is above, courtesy of an Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica photo of the Alvi ship’s log as the young guns stood by to assist the stricken Vestas Wind. Their entry, “Starboard side of vessel broken away” is, well, self-explanatory – but note that they are a fair bit away from the grounded boat, so don’t go writing the blue boat off just yet.
The good news comes from VOR Race Control, who has confirmed that the crew has now been rescued and will stay on the Íle du Sud, where there is a house and some facilities. All the crew is safe and nobody is injured. Team Vestas Wind is making plans with Volvo Ocean Race on how to transport the crew off the island as well as how to salvage the boat, and Team Alvimedica has now been released and will continue racing towards Abu Dhabi.
As for the news we don’t have yet: Now that Nico’s crew is safe, he and VOR will need to assess what can be done with several million Euro worth of racing yacht, and right quick as she is being beaten by swell and a reef. Can she be hauled off the reef and then plucked out of the water by a container ship like Puma was last time around, or is she in too dire a shape? Can she be temporarily fixed somewhere nearby? And more importantly, will this team be able to rejoin the race?
And then there is the toughest question of all, and the one that several million sailors around the world are now asking: How could one of the most experienced race crews anywhere, with a multiple round-the-world veteran navigating, run into a charted island at 18 knots – an island that’s more or less on the rhumb line to the finish. The mind boggles…
Big thanks to Team Alvimedica and the folks at VOR HQ for keeping the information more or less flowing. The more that gets out there, the less we’ll all guess.