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Vestas will rejoin Volvo Race for Leg 7

Vestas 11th Hour Racing will participate in the next Volvo Ocean Race Southern Ocean leg around Cape Horn and onwards to Brazil.Vestas is re-launched -

Vestas 11th Hour Racing rejoins the Volvo Ocean Race for the grueling Leg 7—from New Zealand, across the Southern Ocean, past Cape Horn and into Brazil.

The badly damaged Vestas 11th Hour Racing VO65 was shipped to New Zealand from Hong Kong on January 28.

A new port bow section was laid up over a VO65 hull mould at Persico Marine in Italy and then sent to New Zealand, where it was spliced to the hull of the team’s VO65 in the past two weeks.

The team have relaunched their VO65 and will then spend some time practicing and possibly complete an overnight sail.

Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race, approximately 6,700 nautical miles to Itajaí, Brazil, is scheduled to begin March 18. Prior to that the New Zealand In-Port Race is scheduled March 10.

New panel fitted - Click image for a larger image

The team hasn’t raced since the collision in the latter stages of Leg 4, during the final approach to Hong Kong.

Just after 01:00 hours on the morning of January 20 (local Hong Kong time), Vestas 11th Hour Racing was involved in a collision with a fishing vessel.

Shortly after the accident, nine Chinese fishermen were rescued, however, one other very sadly perished.

The Vestas 11th Hour Racing crew were not injured, but the VO65 race yacht suffered significant damage to its port bow.

Despite the badly damaged bow, Towill and the crew of the stricken Vestas 11th Hour Racing boat carried out a search and rescue effort, which culminated in a casualty being retrieved and transferred to a helicopter, with the assistance of Hong Kong Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre.

See Q&A with Mark Towill, skipper of Leg 4 for additional information on the incident.

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