All of the crew were successfully rescued after they were forced to abandon their vessel in the early hours of Sunday morning
A Volvo Ocean Race team has been rescued after abandoning their yacht when it became grounded on a
reef near Mauritius.
Team Vestas Wind became stranded on the Cargados Carajos Shoals just after 3pm UTC on Saturday but
luckily no one was injured during the incident.
Both of the Volvo Ocean 65’s rudders were broken as a result of the collision and the team also
reported water ingress in the stern compartment, which was locked tight.
For several hours, the crew stayed aboard the stricken vessel whose stern was being beaten badly by
the waves as it was stuck fast in the reef.
Fellow competitors Team Alvimedica arrived on the scene and remained in radio contact with the
stranded crew every hour.
At around midnight, Team Vestas Wind abandoned their boat in complete darkness and waded knee-deep
through the sea to a dry spot on the reef.
They were then rescued by a coastguard RIB at daybreak at around 2.30am UTC and transported to the
tiny Íle du Sud, 430km north-east of Mauritius and are waiting to be taken to the mainland.
On Sunday evening, Australian skipper Chris Nicholson spoke of his immense pride at the way his crew had coped with the
“Last night (Saturday night) was one of the worst nights that I have ever seen. We’re kind of literally shipwrecked. It’s a
unique experience going through it.”
“We made a mistake, which led to what happened last night, but I’ve been blown away by the way the guys dealt with the situation,
trying to make things as right as possible today. They make me so proud.”
Speaking about the boat, Nicholson said: “It’s extensively damaged. It took a massive, massive pounding. I was amazed with
that was getting thrown at it and somehow it managed to keep us all in one piece. I was absolutely amazed at what happened.”
Team Alvimedica who went to assist the stricken crew were eventually cleared to continue racing onto Abu Dhabi, while the next
step for Team Vistas Wind will be figuring out ways to salvage their boat.
Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad said it’s not yet clear why Nicholson’s team had hit the reef, but this will be examined in due
“I’m extremely relieved that every one of the nine crew members now are safe and that nobody is injured. That has always been our
first priority since we first learned about the grounding.
“At the same time, I’m deeply saddened that this happened to Team Vestas Wind and Chris Nicholson and his time. It’s devastating
for the team, for the race and for everyone involved.”