An Emotional return for GUYOT environnement – Team Europe folowing their dismasting in the north Atlantic.
There were tears on the dockside Wednesday afternoon as GUYOT environnement – Team Europe backed onto the pontoon in Aarhus alongside their four competitors.
With just over a day to go before the start of Leg 6 Benjamin Detreux’ team had battled the odds and were now back in the race.
As he thanked those that had played such a crucial part, including all four of his competitors and their sponsors – 11th Hour Racing, Biotherm, Holcim and Malizia – the French skipper struggled to conceal his emotions.
Detreux explained . . . “When we dismasted the race seemed over to me because I simply couldn’t see a logistical and financially viable solution. Plus, the damage to the boat was big. Then I received a call from a good friend of mine Marc Pickel who said this can’t be over, what about if we repair the boat in Kiel? And so we started to work on this option.
It’s been an amazing spirit in the boatyard where we worked through the nights to get the big repairs under control. We had great facilities in Kiel, a great network and the city of Kiel supported us a lot at the boatyard especially. A lot of people were involved.
Then 11th Hour Racing team offered their spare mast so the big pieces of the puzzle started coming together.
Emotionally I’m very exhausted, but I’m also very happy to be here. We’re going to fight and we’re going to do everything to get a solid result for the next two legs and then we will see where that leads.”
Leg 6 from Aarhus to the Hague gets underway Thursday with 10 boats in two fleets taking on a tactically complex leg.
First off will be the VO65s starting at 16:10 local time, heading north towards the tip of Denmark.
From there, the amended course takes them out to a mid-point in the North Sea before heading back towards the Danish coastline where they will turn south and head towards the finish off the Hague.
The IMOCA fleet gets underway at 18:15 and will head south for a fly-by in Kiel (ETA Friday afternoon) before then heading back north to exit the Baltic. From there, they head south to the finish in the Hague (ETA June 11).