Navigator pays the price for putting Team Vestas Wind on the bricks

Team Vestas Wind on the reef. Photo Brian Carlin/Team Vestas Wind/Volvo Ocean Race
Team Vestas Wind on the reef. Photo Brian Carlin/Team Vestas Wind/Volvo Ocean Race

When Team Vestas Wind hit a reef in the Indian Ocean during the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, it was obvious that someone would be held accountable. Subsequently it was established that navigator Wouter Verbraak had not drilled down closely enough on his electronic charts and had failed to put an exclusion zone around the reef, which was only visible after “zooming in” on the charts.

The team has now released a statement, advising that Verbraak won't be part of the crew when the team resumes racing. As usual in these circumstances, the language is conciliatory but it is not hard to read between the lines. Here is the statement:

On 2nd January 2015, Team Vestas Wind announced that skipper Chris Nicholson had been tasked to review the team during the month of January. The objective is to ensure the right team for the come back to the race, which is now, for this team, of a different nature than the scheduled original route from Alicante to Gothenburg.

Chris Nicholson has completed his review, together with the lead sponsor Vestas and sub-sponsor Powerhouse, and the decision has been made that Wouter Verbraak will no longer continue as navigator of the Vestas Wind. Team Vestas Wind will be joined by a new navigator in time for the Lisbon stopover and Leg 8 start in June.Team Vestas Wind would like to thank Wouter for his service and wish him well in the future.

The remaining shore and sailing crew will continue to work as integral members of Team Vestas Wind, and will use their skills to assist Persico in the boat repair process, where possible, as well as in complementary activities that will support the Team’s return to the race , including ensuring a continuous presence in the future stopovers.

The Vestas Wind boat is now on a Maersk Line container ship en route from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Genoa, Italy where it is expected to arrive on Sunday 25th January. Once transported on a truck to Persico Marine in Bergamo, Italy, Team Vestas Wind’s shore and sailing crews will begin to assist the repair process. In regards to the arrival of the boat, Team Vestas Wind will be hosting a press conference in Genoa on Monday 26th January.

Verbraak also issued a statement:

“I am very sad to announce that I have been notified that I will not continue with Team Vestas Wind.

“I respect Chris Nicholson’s decision and wish the team the very, very best of luck with the hard work ahead of them in the Volvo Ocean Race. I would have wanted to help the team getting back in the race again and contribute to their success in the last parts of the race.

“On a personal note I am looking forward to the new sailing challenges that are coming up for me in the months ahead and want to keep sharing the passion that I have for this great sport with you all.

“Someone recently told me: 'Life is not about how many breaths you take, but about the moments that take your breath away'. I am looking forward to the new breathless moments to come. Ocean racing tends to offer many of them.”

– Roger McMillan, editor

Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp

Rolex Middle Sea Race Fleet Building Steadily

With six months to go to the start of the 42nd Rolex Middle Sea Race on Saturday 23 October, the Mediterranean’s premier 600-mile offshore classic looks well set. Some 47 yachts from 17 countries have entered, currently ranging in size...

Star World Championship will be held during Kiel Week

The Star World Championship returns to Kiel. And this September, two events are on the schedule at once. For the Junior Star World Championship (August 31 to September 3) 40 boats are expected and for the Star World Championship (September...

World’s fastest sailboats sign up for Rolex Fastnet Race

While the Vendée Globe grabbed headlines over the winter with a record fleet of 31 boats, France boasts a yet more extraordinary fleet of boats – the Ultimes. Developed over the last 30 years by teams attempting to break the...

Day 5 of the 470 Europeans – Champagne Sailing

Champagne sailing in Vilamoura, with an excellent breeze with 10/12 knots all along the day, D Flag going up at 13:00 for the 3 fleets.  The French teams, Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz in the women’s fleet and Kevin Peponnet...

Day 4 of the 470 Europeans – Perfect Conditions

A sunny and warm day in Vilamoura (air temp. 27 C), with excellent breeze, allowed, again, to complete the 2 scheduled races. Sailors were back ashore just past 16:30, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the Portuguese spring. Paul Snow-Hansen...

Aerial view of a gravity wave. Credit: NASA/GSFC/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team and Jeff Schmaltz

Four rarely-heard ocean terms

1. Gravity Wave Gravity waves, not to be confused with gravitational waves, form when air is pushed up and gravity pulls the air back down. On its way down, air displaces ocean water, forming waves that look like vertical channels. There...

High Speed action Video from SailGP

Experience life onboard the F50 with GoPro, SailGP’s adrenaline action content partner for Season 2. SailGP is sailing redefined. Established in 2018 and headquartered in London and New York, SailGP is an annual, global sports championship featuring bold, cutting-edge technology...

CHALLENGING CONDITIONS ON DAY 3 OF 2021 470 EUROPEANS

Day 3 of the 470 Europeans – Challenging Conditions

Day 3 of the 470 European Championship in Vilamoura.  Two races sailed for the 3 fleets with the D Flag going up at 12:35 for the 3 fleets. “It’s really enjoyable to be back sailing with the 470 fleet, after...

Cascais 49er & 49erFx Championship

Day 1 – Cascais 49er & 49erFx Championship

On the first day of the 2021 Cascais 49er & 49er Fx Championship races, the Olympic fleet consisting of 28 boats, of the 49erFx class plus 10 boats, of the 49er class, fulfilled the day’s schedule when holding the three...

Heavy hitters heading to Airlie Beach Race Week

A trio of past Sydney Hobart winners in Geoff Boettcher, Darryl Hodgkinson and Phil Turner, along with yachting champion Marcus Blackmore, are among the heavy hitters heading north to race in the IRC Passage Division at the 33rd running of...

Finn - Robert Deaves

World’s Best Sailors Ready for Epic Finn Gold Cup in Porto The Finn Gold Cup has been part of the fabric of the sport of sailing for 65 years, an iconic trophy that is reputed to be more difficult to...

Latest Posts

Latest

Read all of the latest Sailing News

Racing Posts

Racing

Dinghy and Yacht Racing News

Offshore Posts

Offshore

News from the Offshore World

Cruising & Destinations Posts

Cruising & Destinations

Cruising Stories from around the World

Boat & Gear Posts

Boats & Gear

The Latest Boats and Yachting Gear

Video Posts

Video

Watch everything Sailing and Boating

Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Join Our Newsletter
Latest Sailing News, Racing, Cruising, Boats, Gear and more
ErrorHere