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Having recovered the Vestas Wind in better-than-expected condition, Team Vestas Wind will repair the Volvo Ocean 65 at Persico Marine in Italy and plan to re-enter the race in Lisbon in late May.
Just over one month after the Vestas Wind ran aground in the Cargados Carajos Shoals in the Indian Ocean, Vestas Wind Systems says it will, together with sub-sponsor Powerhouse, return its boat and nine-man crew to the 2014-2015 Race.
“I am extremely proud to announce that Team Vestas Wind will be re-joining the race by repairing the boat,” says Morten Albæk, Vestas Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of Team Vestas Wind. “Vestas is a company that stands up to pressure. We stick with it, we make comebacks. This has become a race for us to re-join the race.”
“Just like Team Vestas Wind, Powerhouse is also resilient, and we are more than ever committed to support and help the team to get back in the race” says Patrick Lammers, responsible for Powerhouse in RWE’s Retail Board.
Initial concerns that returning to the race might not be possible were overcome when skipper Chris Nicholson returned to the reef with shore crew and a salvage team in mid-December to recover the boat and assessed that it was probably repairable.
“We got the boat off the reef in better condition than we thought possible,” Nicholson said. “There are large portions of the deck that can be reused and a lot of other components within the structure. We’ll rebuild our boat just as we rebuild our hopes and dreams.”
The damaged boat has now arrived in Malaysia after being picked up by a Maersk Line container ship that diverted to the area of the crash site in December. A thorough assessment of the damage will now be carried out and the Volvo Ocean 65 will soon be on its way to join Team Vestas Wind’s shore and sailing crewmembers to begin repairs at Persico Marine in Italy.
“Stakeholders including Maersk, Volvo Ocean Race, Powerhouse, and Team Alvimedica have displayed an amazing level of support,” reiterated Albæk. “Indeed, the generosity of all our fellow teams was instrumental in our decision to get back into the race.”
“We will continue to promote our A race which we must win campaign to combat energy poverty, climate change and water scarcity leading up to the COP Paris 2015 climate change conference. Although the schedule is short and every second counts, Vestas is known for overcoming big challenges. We now have the opportunity to perform one of the biggest comebacks in sailing and prove to the world what Vestas and Team Vestas Wind are capable of accomplishing.”
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