Volvo Ocean Race: The Fourth Leg Results and Fatalities
The fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, which consists of 500 nautical miles from Melbourne to Hong Kong, has now finished. There were several significant incidents that took place during this part of the competition – some of them concerning marine safety.
Team Scallywag, the first ever Hong Kong team in the Volvo Ocean Race, won the race in their own home port. The team was led by experienced heavy weather sailor David Witt and was created to promote sailing among Asia’s youth. The boldness of the team to overcome every setback they faced was what gave them this historical victory.
During the race one of Team Scallywag’s sailors, Alex Gough, was washed overboard by a wave and left floating in the middle of the Pacific. Luckily for the team, this event took place during the day which allowed them to get him back onboard within seven minutes.
Gough wasn’t wearing a lifejacket or a harness when the event took place, and he later admitted that his actions weren’t the smartest. Despite the miles lost due to the dramatic incident, Team Scallywag committed to following a bold strategy that ended up getting them at the top of the podium.
Dongfeng Race Team took second place into Hong Kong, arriving 17 days 17 hours and 18 minutes after they left Melbourne. Dongfeng is happy with their result not only because they are taking back points on MAPFRE but because of what these victory means for Asian sailing. The third podium place of Leg 4 was claimed by Team Akzonobel, the best result yet for this crew.
Leading team MAPFRE finished fifth in a surprise result that left them out of the podium. Skipper Xabi Fernández claimed that Doldrums (areas around the equator where winds disappear) were the key reason his crew finished in a bad position in leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Right after MAPFRE was Team Brunel, who is now fifth in the competition, with Team AkzoNobel and Turn the Tide on Plastic far behind them.
Vestas crashes against fisherman’s boat leaving one dead
In the morning of 20th January, Team Vestas collided with a fishing boat just outside of Hong Kong, 30 miles from the finish line. The crash caused the death of one of the ten fishermen that were onboard the non-racing boat. At the moment there are no details about what happened, and the Volvo Ocean Race is collaborating with Hong Kong’s authorities during the ongoing investigation. The Vestas crew managed to pull the man out of the water, but he died hours later, leaving the crew deeply saddened.
Read more about how the Marine industry must start addressing safety issues
Microplastic Particles found in Antarctic Waters
The Volvo Race Ocean Summit in Hong Kong took place on Monday 22nd of January. This event is aimed at finding innovative solutions to the plastic crisis by bringing governments, business, scientists and athletes together.
During the Summit, the results obtained from the data collected during Leg 2 and Leg 3 of the VOR were discussed. The new data revealed the existence of microplastic particles close to the Antarctic Ice Exclusion Zone; compared to other Oceans the levels found were low, but still alarming.
Find out more about how Team Turn the Tide on Plastic is changing plastic content in the ocean.
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