On November 29, 2014, the Vestas team sailing under the Danish flag with skipper Chris Nicholson and navigator Wouter Verbraak made global headlines. About 250 nautical miles to the northeast “Vestas” ran aground on a reef during the second stage. Nobody was injured in the accident, but the team missed several stages due to the laborious recovery process and the necessary repair of the yacht and finally had to give up after a promising start.
Made a good impression as newbies at their premiere in the last race: Charlie Enright and Mark Towill are again entering the race as a duo and are in charge of the Danish-American campaign Vestas 11th Hour Racing
Navigator Wouter Verbraak was criticized at the time and was the only one to leave the team. The strategist, who is still in great demand internationally, later described the experiences and the reasons for the emergence again in a book. Skipper Chris Nicholson, on the other hand, did not take any personal consequences after the incident, ended the race, but does not come back - at least as a "Vestas" skipper.
The picture of the unhappily stranded "Vestas" went around the world in 2014
When you think of "Vestas" in the Volvo Ocean Race, you have this picture from 2014 of the stranded boat in mind. The team is lining up to get involved in the upcoming edition
As the newly formed Vestas 11th Hour Racing team announced today at simultaneous press conferences in Newport in the US and in Aarhus, Denmark, the two Americans Charlie Enright and Mark Towell will lead the campaign. They started their Volvo Ocean Race career with the Alvimedic team at the last edition. Now they have received the trust of the two team partners Vestas and 11th Hour Racing.
Wendy Schmidt, co-founder and president of the Schmidt Family Foundation behind 11th Hour Racing, said: "Mark and Charlie have been ambassadors for 11th Hour Racing for the past two years. They saw firsthand how different they were in the last race Environmental pollution and plastic waste are destroying marine life and threatening us all. Our partnership with Vestas is about inspiring positive change and new ways of thinking about energy and the natural resources of our planet."
For the global energy group Vestas, use in wind and waves makes sense. However, in 2014 the team had imagined the implementation of the term "renewable" to be different. That they had to "renew" their boat after the reef collision was not the plan. In the coming race should go better under the new leadership
The team, whose other members initially remained anonymous, but which will certainly receive Danish reinforcements, will in the next step pick up the yacht that has been provided in Lisbon after the refit and the remaining time until the start of the Volvo Ocean Race on October 22 for intensive training and several Use Atlantic crossings in April and May. The yacht will enter the race under the Danish and American flags. After AkzoNobel, Mapfre and Dongfeng, team four is now known. Mark Turner and his team have seven months to turn it into a veritable fleet for the route from Alicante via Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Newport, Cardiff and Gothenburg to The Hague.