11th Hour Racing Team has officially retired from Leg 7 of The Ocean Race, unable to continue racing competitively following a huge collision, just 17 minutes after the start of the final leg in The Hague on Thursday, June 15.
The team has also submitted a Request for Redress to the World Sailing International Jury. This is a procedure under the Racing Rules of Sailing to compensate a boat when ‘a boat’s score or place in a race or series has been or may be, through no fault of her own, made significantly worse’.
Skipper, Charlie Enright (USA), said, “We are working around the clock to repair the boat as quickly as possible, and our intent is to sail to Genoa to rejoin the fleet and complete this lap around our blue planet. Everyone is obviously devastated – no one wants to finish a race like this – but spirits are high within the team, and everyone is focused on finishing this incredible race on a high note.”
While the five IMOCAs were racing in the inshore section immediately after the start, 11th Hour Racing Team were in second place, and they tacked on the layline of mark 4, approaching on a starboard tack. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe approached on port tack and were required to give way and, despite calls from Enright, didn’t alter course and collided into the side of the 60-foot race boat. No one on either boat was injured, but both vessels had extensive damage, requiring them to return back to The Hague.
Skipper of GUYOT, Benjamin Dutreux, immediately came to see the American team and, clearly devastated, offered his apologies to Enright. “I was helming, and I just saw their boat appear suddenly, and it was too late. The contact was unavoidable [at that point]. I take full responsibility. It is our fault.” The Frenchman also offered his full team to support in any way they could.
Mark Towill, CEO of 11th Hour Racing Team said, “The support from The Ocean Race community here in The Hague has been tremendous, and we have had messages coming in from fans, partners, and supporters from around the world – it really has been overwhelming and felt by everyone here. We will continue to work 24/7 and are doing everything we can to have the boat and full team in Genoa for the Grande Finale.”