Danish team that ran aground in race will replace navigator
SAN DIEGO (AP) The Danish-based team that ran aground on a reef in the Indian Ocean in the Volvo Ocean Race will replace its navigator when it rejoins the fleet for the final two legs later this year.
Team Vestas Wind announced Friday that navigator Wouter Verbraak is no longer part of the crew.
According to a statement from the team, the decision to replace Verbraak came after skipper Chris Nicholson completed a review along with Vestas, the team’s top sponsor, and a sub-sponsor.
Team Vestas Wind said the remaining members of the crew would continue helping with the boat’s repair.
Team Vestas Wind ran aground on Nov. 2, causing major damage to its 65-foot sloop. The crew abandoned the sloop and was rescued by a local coast guard. There were no injuries.
The boat was retrieved just before Christmas. It is expected to arrive on a ship in Genoa, Italy, on Sunday and then be transported to a boatyard in Bergamo where it will be rebuilt.
In interviews after the crew was rescued, Verbraak said he ”made a big mistake” and was ”totally devastated and still in shock.”
Verbraak said he somehow didn’t see the reef on electronic charts.
Team Vestas Wind plans to rejoin the race in June in Lisbon, Portugal.
The fleet is days away from arriving in Sanya, China, for the completion of Leg 3. Dongfeng Race Team is looking to become the first Chinese entry in race history to win a leg.