On Wednesday of this week, the Volvo Ocean Race is set to resume, with Stage 6 running from Hong Kong to Auckland, New Zealand. This leg of the race will cover more than 6100 nautical miles (7019 miles/11,297 km), taking the teams across the South China Sea, past the Philippines, and into the Pacific Ocean for the very first time. But when the ships take to the line for their restart in a few days, they’ll be down one vessel as one of the crews takes this leg off to focus on other matters.
As you’ll probably recall, Team Vestas 11th Hour was involved in a collision with a fishing boat while approaching Hong Kong a few weeks back. That accident left one person dead and dramatically damaged both ships as well. The fishing boat was a total loss, but the racing ship was able to limp into harbor under its own power. Still, there was significant issues that needed to be addressed, including damage to its hull.
Because there hasn’t been enough time, nor resources, to repair the vessel, it has been loaded aboard a cargo ship and has been sent ahead to Auckland where there are better facilities to address the issues. An important part has also been crafted for the ship in Italy, and is being shipped to New Zealand as well. The hope is that the ship will be back to racing condition by the time the other teams arrive at the finish line for Stage 6, which is expected to take place in the first week of March. With their ship repaired, the Vestas 11th Hour crew hopes to rejoin the race for Stage 7, which runs from Auckland to Itajaí in Brazil, with a dip into the Southern Ocean once again.
When the race resumes this week, strong winds are expected to push the ships out of Hong Kong and on their way to their next destination. The six teams that take to the line will be eager to resume the voyage, as it has been an interesting and hotly contested competition so far. This next stage promises to be no different, with plenty of strategy and skill on display.
To follow all of the action and get regular updates, visit volvooceanrace.com.
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