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Volvo Ocean Race sets up report into Team Vestas Wind grounding

Team Vestas WindALICANTE, Spain, December 16 – An independent report into the grounding of Team Vestas Wind’s boat on a reef in the Indian Ocean has been set up by the Volvo Ocean Race.

The incident happened on November 29 on Leg 2 of the current 12th edition. The crew escaped safely after suffering minor injuries. The boat, Vestas Wind, ran aground on the Cargados Carajos Shoals (St. Brandon), 240 nautical miles northeast of Mauritius.

© Brian Carlin/Team Vestas Wind/Volvo Ocean Race

A panel, to be chaired by Rear Admiral Chris Oxenbould (Rtd), is to provide the Volvo Ocean Race with its final report by January 31, 2015. 

Volvo Ocean Race intends to make the report publicly available to make sure its learnings benefit the whole sailing world and not only the race. This is scheduled for no later than during the Auckland stopover (February 27-March 15).

It can draw upon a wide range of input from, among others, crew members of competing boats in the event, members of the race committee, electronic chart providers, and the emergency services organisers.

Rear Admiral Oxenbould is a former deputy chief of the Australian Navy and an experienced ocean racing yachtsman with a particular expertise in navigation. He is also the chairman of the Yachting Australia National Safety Committee.

Ocean navigational expert, Stan Honey who won the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 as navigator onboard ABN AMRO ONE, and Chuck Hawley who serves as the chairman of the U.S. Sailing Safety at Sea Committee, will assist the Rear Admiral  Oxenbould on the report.

The panel will examine: 

  • What happened and why Vestas Wind ran aground
  • Consider all the Race’s administrative procedures and documentation in place for the race
  • Review the emergency management procedures in place and their effectiveness in the incident
  • Make findings and recommendations as to any changes to the race rules, procedures, administration, documentation, boats or equipment that might serve to prevent a possible recurrence 

The Team Vestas Wind crew and sponsors are collaborating fully with the panel’s investigations.


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