Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15: Team Vestas Wind ready to abandon ship after smashing both rudders on shoal

The Danish entry hit trouble on the second leg of the round the world race from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi

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The Independent Online

The crew of the 65-foot Team Vestas Wind was preparing to abandon ship after hitting the Cargados Carajos Shoal off Mauritious on the second leg of the Volvo round the world race from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi.

Vestas reported it had deployed two life rafts as the stern of the boat was being beaten on rocks of the reef. The bow was pointing out to sea. The team added it was keeping the life rafts some 15 metres from the boat, which the crew, all of whom were uninjured and safe, could reach if necessary.

A second yacht, the Turkish-American Alvimedica, was standing by to aid the Danish entry, skippered by Australian Chris Nicholson and with Kiwis Tony Rae and Rob Salthouse among the crew while the coastguard station on Isle du Sud, just over a mile away, had deployed a rigid inflatable rescue boat.

The Vestas team, which is sponsored by the manufacturer of large electricity-generating windmills and at one time had a production plant on the Isle of Wight, was a late entry into the race, which started in Alicante, Spain, in October and finishes in Gothenberg next summer.

It leaves six boats in the race – Alvimedica will be given compensation for going to the rescue on this leg – with Abu Dhabi entry Azzam, skippered by British double Olympic medallist Ian Walker currently in the lead at the halfway point of the 6,000-mile leg, chased by the Spanish entry Mapfre, and the Brunel team of The Netherlands, skippered by Bouwe Bekking.