The Vestas Wind has now arrived in Italy. Having crossed paths with our six fellow teams on our journey from Malaysia to Genoa, it's a bittersweet ending to Leg 3 as the Maersk container ship docks into port at the same time the VO65s arrive in Sanya.
We still have ground to cover in this "Leg" however: The Vestas Wind will soon continue her journey by road to Persico Marine, near Bergamo in Italy, where a skilled team including Team Vestas crewmembers is eagerly awaiting to start repairs.
Since the 29th November 2014, we have encountered many types of new and unexpected challenges, some of which have been easier to manage with help of partners and fellow teams. Jens Elnegaard Larsen, Special Cargo Operations Manager and responsible for the recovery operation on behalf of Maersk, describes Maersk Line and Svitzer's key role in assisting Team Vestas Wind in our race to rejoin the Race.
"One late Saturday evening, the phone rang. It was Volvo Ocean Race Management. Did we know somebody in Mauritius, who could help? We did actually, and we also later engaged Svitzer, the salvage company, which is also our sister company.
The next question was of course, how do we get the boat off the reef and ultimately back in the race? Could we help?
At first, I think most of us thought that this was a mission impossible. We have certainly never before had a container ship sail close to a reef and lift a sailing boat out of the water. But quickly the feeling turned into a "why not"? And so the challenge was accepted.
The main challenge was to organise the operation. Time was short, and we basically only had one window of opportunity. We identified one of our vessels which would be passing nearby. It had a crane and we could divert it with no or little impact to its schedule. Just before the pick-up, the vessel called at Port Louis, where we made space for the boat.
I’m very proud of the cooperation between the four parties; Team Vestas Wind, Volvo Ocean Race, Svitzer, and Maersk Line. We had one chance, little time, and no prior experience with such a challenge, but we succeeded and made a mission impossible possible. I think everybody wanted this to succeed and get Team Vestas Wind back in the game.”
Stay tuned for frequent updates over the coming days via our blog and social media channels: