Podium finish for Team AkzoNobel marred by tragedy
Team AkzoNobel, whose crew includes Bermuda sailor Emily Nagel, have achieved their first podium display in the Volvo Ocean Race.
However, the Dutch entry’s third-place finish on leg four of the race from Melbourne to Hong Kong was marred by a collision involving race rival Vestas 11th Hour Racing. The incident occurred about 30 miles from the finish line when Vestas 11th Hour Racing collided with a Chinese fishing boat.
One of the fishermen on board was thrown into the water, prompting a frantic search and rescue effort involving Team AkzoNobel. The casualty was recovered by the crew of Vestas 11th Hour Racing and airlifted to hospital but died hours later. The crew of Vestas 11th Hour Racing escaped injury.
“On behalf of the Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, we offer our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the deceased,” race organisers said in a statement.
Nagel, who is a sail trimmer with Team AkzoNobel, was ruled out of leg four after suffering a damaged nerve and bruising to her back during a mishap in heavy seas on the previous leg of the race from Cape Town, South Africa, to Melbourne.
“The racing at times can be truly terrifying, going at 30 knots of boat speed at times in big sea states, not being clipped on is not an option,” Nagel told The Royal Gazette in a recent interview.
“When grinding, if hit by a wave you can be sent flying; the lucky ones get thrown into the pedestal. If unlucky you get washed to the end of your tether. It just becomes a part of life though and you keep pushing until the end.”
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