Scallywag continues to race towards home in Hong Kong, leading the fleet west in well-established trade wind conditions.
At 0700 UTC on Sunday morning, skipper David Witt’s team was leading by about 20 miles over team AkzoNobel and Dongfeng Race Team in terms of distance to finish.
But on the water, the Scallywags are about 70 miles further west, and 100 miles to the south of the their closest opposition.
Although their advantage remains solid, the past 24 hours haven’t been without incident as a crew member went overboard during a sail change. He was recovered within 7 minutes and is reported to be uninjured, with the team resuming racing immediately after the recovery.
? MAN OVERBOARD! ?
Drama on @Scallywag?HK as the Hong Kong team loses a crew member overboard – and a lightning fast operation to rescue him! Cool heads under pressure on the HK boat!
— Volvo Ocean Race (@volvooceanrace) January 14, 2018
Man overboard Alex Gough was recovered quickly, uninjured and the team resumed racing immediately.
The crew of Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag made a textbook recovery during a man overboard situation on Sunday during Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Crew member Alex Gough was washed overboard by a wave during a sail change, near midday local time, in winds of 15-20 knots.
The team swung into recovery mode, and Gough was back on board within seven minutes, unharmed. Scallywag resumed racing immediately.
“He went out on the outrigger, I was driving, and we went off a big sea and it picked him up threw him off, like a horse,” skipper David Witt said.
“The main thing is, we got him back on board. He’s safe. But I think it’s shown everyone how hard it is to see the guy in the water. Even on a sunny day, 18 knots of wind… You wouldn’t want to be doing this in 20 knots in the dark.”
Gough wasn’t wearing a harness or a lifejacket. Witt says he should have been tethered, or at minimum have told the driver what he was doing, before he went outside the lifelines on the outrigger.
“I was pretty stupid, but luckily the guys were on to it. They turned around bloody quickly,” Gough said. “I’m good. I’m fine. It was a bit scary… But off we go again.”
SHK/Scallywag is the current leader of Leg 4, with 2,300 nautical miles left to sail to the finish line in Hong Kong.
Behind, Vestas 11th Hour Racing lost miles when they were forced to gybe to avoid one of the dozens of coral reefs dotting the area.
“We are finally sailing in good wind again; the boat speed is back up around 20 knots and it finally feels like are closing on our destination,” writes navigator Simon Fisher.
“The doldrums are doing their best though to hang onto its grip on us. Or that is certainly what it feels like. With an unstable atmosphere and a sea temperature of over 30 degrees it is prime condition for thunderstorms and our days have been punctuated by dealing with the towering cumulus clouds. That and dodging our way through the islands and atolls of Micronesia over the next 600 miles which will no doubt be heavy on navigation and light again on sleep!”
WHY? It is a little known fact that Port Elizabeth has been approached TWICE to bid on becoming a stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race – the first attempt was stopped by our local Port Authorities and we await the outcome of the second. The home of Volvo Cars is Gothenburg – the second-largest city in Sweden which is twinned with Nelson Mandela Bay and which has provided incredible support and promotion for our Metropole.
MyPE is running a series of articles about the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race to: 1. Acknowledge and thank Gothenburg for their support, 2. Showcase a sport that Alan Straton is passionate about, 3. Demonstrate to citizens of Port Elizabeth just how much exposure a city like Cape Town receives from the VOR and 4. As a gentle reminder to the TNPA and our city of the great value that such an event can bring to our city.
The start city of the VOR – Alicante, Spain – estimates the economic value of each leg to be R960 Million. Click here to read very Volvo Ocean Race published on MyPE.
The local Algoa Bay Yacht Club has hosted many international sailing regattas, the most recent being the 60th 5O5 World Championships and, along with requests from the Volvo Ocean Race, have also recently been asked to host the 2019 stopover for the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race.