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GAC Pindar helps ensure a full fleet as the Volvo Ocean Race heads to an exciting climax

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    5 June 2015

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Lisbon, Portugal – The full Volvo Ocean Race fleet of seven boats, including Team Vestas Wind, will set sail from Lisbon on Sunday (7 June) towards a thrilling climax of the round-the-world challenge in Gothenburg  on 22-23 June.

Photo credit: Amalia Infante

When Team Vestas Wind ran aground on a shallow reef in the Indian Ocean on 29 November 2014 they set in motion a monumental recovery operation involving multiple parties across the world with GAC Pindar, the official logistics supplier for the Volvo Ocean Race, at the core.

This huge effort by all involved has led to the Team Vestas Wind boat being successfully recovered, rebuilt and transported to Lisbon in time to re-join the fleet for the in-port race on 6 June – a feat that many expert observers thought to be impossible.

GAC Pindar played a crucial role in getting Team Vestas Wind back on the water. Initially they redirected the various Team Vestas workshop containers that follow the team around the world to Genoa. This was then followed by organising the transport and customs clearance of salvaged boat materials from the reef to Genoa, to aid in the repair procedure.

Once the stricken boat arrived in Genoa, GAC Pindar Technical Manager Ollie Smith was present on the ground to oversee customs clearance for the vessel and organise transfer onto the Persico Marine boatyard in Bergamo, Italy where the boat was re-built.

GAC Pindar also organised the shipment of a new mast from New Zealand to Lisbon, ensuring it was there on time for the arrival of the repaired boat so that it could be attached and tested in time for the start of racing.

Beth King, Operations Manager, GAC Pindar commented: “We were absolutely delighted that our efforts played a role in getting Team Vestas Wind back into the race. It was so awful when the news came in that they had run aground – so it’s truly amazing to see them back on the water again after just six months. It really is testament to everyone involved in the recovery and re-building process and I’m proud of the GAC Pindar team for being part of that.”

Neil Cox, Team Vestas Wind Shore Crew Manager, said: “Ever since 29 November and our accident on the reef, never more had our campaign been so reliant on streamlining and the need for a solid logistics plan. GAC Pindar, our race partner, had no issue at all stepping into that role, from helping us relocate the project and then everything from there on in to help bring the campaign back together again as a complete project. They have been great to work with and we sincerely thank them.”

As the boats head to Gothenburg, the GAC Pindar logistics challenge is also drawing to a conclusion. By the end of the race, GAC Pindar employees will have worked over 21,000 man hours to provide a seamless support package that has included the logistics and customs clearance of the race villages and gear for the crews. 

Earlier in the Race, GAC Pindar had risen to another logistics challenge to deliver a new mast for the Dongfeng Race Team after their original one broke during the New Zealand-Brazil leg. The replacement was delivered from Dubai to Newport, Rhode Island, ahead of schedule, enabling the Dongfeng Race Team to re-join the Race for the sixth leg across the Atlantic to Lisbon. The team then finished in fourth place to maintain their podium position in the overall standings.

The Lisbon in-port race starts on 6 June, with the Volvo Ocean Race fleet departing for Lorient the following day. To keep up-to-date with all the action of the Volvo Ocean Race please visit http://volvooceanrace.com

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