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Collision Halts 11th Hour Racing at the Start of Leg 7 in The Ocean Race

To finish first you first must finish. Sadly, the leader of The Ocean Race, 11th Hour Racing Team, has been forced to suspend racing approximately 15 minutes after the start of the final leg, after suffering extensive damage when they were hit by GUYOT environnement – Team Europe.

The collision damaged both boats, which have returned to port in The Hague. No injuries were reported.

On first appearances, it would appear to be a rules infringement by skipper Benjamin Dutreux’s GUYOT team, who apparently didn’t see the 11th Hour Racing Team boat until it was too late.

“Their boat appeared in front of me and it was too late,” Dutreux admitted dockside. “It was impossible then to avoid contact (after I saw them). I take all responsibility. It’s our fault for sure.”

For his part, 11th Hour Racing Team skipper Charlie Enright said he tried to avert a crash, but once he realized the give-way GUYOT boat wasn’t changing course, it was too late.

“Obviously this is an extremely unfortunate situation,” he said after returning to the dock. “We tacked on the layline to mark 4, clean and clear; I don’t want to speculate, but it seems that the other boat didn’t see us. We were the right-of-way boat. The impact was forceful — we are very lucky that everybody is OK …

“Accidents happen, and I know it’s clear they wouldn’t want to end our race, just as we wouldn’t want to end their race. We’ll just have to see what happens next. It’s definitely not over until it’s over — this is not going to be the reason that we don’t finish the job. Whatever it takes — we will figure it out.”

11th Hour RacingGuyot
Guyot environnement skipper Benjamin Dutreux looks at the damage on 11th Hour Racing after he collided with them shortly after the start.
© 2023 Felix Diemer / Guyot Environment

Shortly after 2030 local time in The Hague, GUYOT environnement – Team Europe announced they would retire from the leg, and have offered any and all assistance to 11th Hour Racing Team.

“I’m very sorry about this,” Dutreux said. “I really hope they will get back and win this race … We will try to help them all we can.”

While 11th Hour Racing is assessing their options, Holcim-PRB, Team Malizia and Biotherm, plus the returned fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s, remain on course sailing the seventh leg of The Ocean Race from The Hague to Genoa, Italy. 11th Hour Racing had won the last three legs. and a win on this leg would have given them the overall win.

1 Comment

  1. chris white 6 months ago

    What these boats all need close to the helm is a VERY LOUD horn. Think steamship loud, so that there is no way the other vessel can’t hear it and respond. The closing speeds are so fast that a shout of starboard isn’t nearly enough.

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