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Vestas 11th Hour Racing boat back in the Volvo Ocean Race after Hong Kong set-back

  • calendar

    16 March 2018

  • location

    Auckland, New Zealand

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Official logistics provider GAC Pindar delivered yacht and replacement bow to Auckland for repairs

The Vestas 11th Hour Racing team has come back from a major set-back to join the line-up when the Volvo Ocean Race sets off on its next leg from Auckland in New Zealand to Brazil on 18 March. But it would not have happened without the race’s official logistics provider GAC Pindar.

Their V065 race yacht was involved in a collision with a fishing vessel approximately 30 miles from the finish in Hong Kong on 20 January. The Vestas 11th Hour Racing boat suffered damage to its port bow, and that meant it was out of the running for Legs 4, 5 and 6 of the round-the-world race from Melbourne to Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong to Auckland.

To rejoin the race for Leg 7, the boat had to be sent to New Zealand, to allow repairs to be completed before the New Zealand Herald In-Port Race on 10 March.

Enter GAC Pindar
UK-based Operations Manager Beth King got an urgent call from her colleague Jeremy Troughton in Hong Kong, Project Manager for the Volvo Ocean Race. They needed a fast, efficient and cost-effective solution.

Breakbulk shipping operations are usually planned weeks in advance, not the mere days needed to get the yacht to New Zealand in time. GAC Group’s excellent relationship with carrier Maersk Line, together with support from Vestas corporate logistics, meant GAC Pindar beat other logistics providers approached and found a slot on a service that met the tight timeline.

Within seven days of the collision, the damaged boat was loaded onto the Maersk Line vessel ‘Safmarine Nokwanda’ and set off on its 5,131 NM voyage to Tauranga, New Zealand. It arrived on 11 February and was transported overnight by road to the Yachting Developments boatyard in Auckland.

Meanwhile, a parallel operation was underway on the other side of the world to get a new 6 metre long bow section delivered from Persico Marine in Bergamo, Italy. It was sent by road to London’s Heathrow Airport from where it flew to Singapore, and then on to Auckland.

Back in the water
The Vestas 11th Hour Racing boat was relaunched on 5 March and ready to compete in the In-Port race on 10 March, much to the delight of Skipper and Co-Founder Charlie Enright, who said: “A month ago we said we'd be back on the water on this day, and we've stuck to the schedule, thanks to an amazing effort by all involved.”

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