Nagel pays tribute to friend Fisher
Emily Nagel paid an emotional tribute to John Fisher after she and Team AkzoNobel completed the toughest leg of the race around the world to date yesterday.
Fisher, the British sailor, was knocked overboard in the frigid waters of the Southern Ocean from the deck of Hong Kong entry Sun Hung Kai Scallywag by the mainsheet system during leg seven of the race from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil.
Despite rescue efforts, he was never found.
“It’s hard to put into words the mixed emotions I’m currently going through,” Bermudian Nagel said. “After an incredibly tough three weeks we have arrived in Brazil and, while we are all proud of our accomplishment, the emotions surrounding the loss of Fish have rushed to the surface.
“He was an incredible man, a kind and supportive friend, loved by everyone who knew him. He will be missed. The Southern Ocean is beautiful but cruel, relentlessly so. RIP Fish.”
It is the second time the race has been struck by tragedy after a crewman on a Chinese fishing boat was killed in a collision with Vestas 11th Hour Racing near the end of leg 4 on January 19.
Leg seven dished out punishing conditions, in particular during the passage through the Southern Ocean, where the fleet battled through multiple storms accompanied by screaming winds, steep breaking waves and the occasional snow and hail.
After setting sail from Auckland on Emily’s 24th birthday on March 18, Team AkzoNobel completed the 14,000-kilometre passage in third in an elapsed time of 18 days, three hours, 38 mins and 24 seconds.
It was the Dutch syndicate’s third straight podium finish, which leaves them in fourth in the overall Volvo Ocean Race standings with four legs remaining.
Fellow Dutch syndicate Team Brunel, whose team includes 35th America’s Cup winning helmsman Peter Burling, won leg seven followed by Dongfeng Race Team, of China, in second.
Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Sun Hung Kai Scallywag both retired. Vestas, whose team is comprised of sailors from the United States and Denmark, was dismasted while Scallywag retired to recover from their devastating loss.
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