The fleet of five Imoca yachts of The Ocean Race is complete again. On Wednesday, the GUYOT environnement – Team Europe arrived in the harbour of Aarhus/Denmark. The black yacht was warmly welcomed by the other crews at the pier of the Ocean Live Park. This means that The Ocean Race can once again tackle the coming leg from Aarhus via Kiel to The Hague with its full fleet size. And the big thanks of GUYOT environnement – Team Europe go to the race and its partners and especially to the teams Biotherm, 11th Hour Racing, Holcim and Malizia, whose support made the re-entry of the crew around skipper Benjamin Dutreux possible.
On Tuesday evening, the transfer crew was seen off in Kiel by the city’s mayor, Dr Ulf Kämpfer, at the Knierim Yachtbau GmbH shipyard. After passing through the Holtenau lock in the Kiel Canal, the boat headed north in a light breeze. The crew, led by navigator Sébastien Simon and Phillip Kasüske as well as Thomas Cardrin, head of the tech-team, had a chance to check out the race course in Kiel’s inner fjord. Already on Friday, the fleet is expected back here for the fly-by from Kiel in a close race.
During the night crossing to Aarhus, the opportunity was taken to check the systems and find the trim settings for the new mast. The time for this was longer than expected, because before the arrival in Aarhus the wind completely broke, so that the entry into the Danish harbour city was delayed. But when the time finally came, it became emotional: Not only the own team members around skipper Benjamin Dutreux, co-skipper Robert Stanjek and Annie Lush as well as the team managers Alice Potiron and Jens Kuphal received the yacht, but also the other teams of The Ocean Race came to celebrate the reunion of the fleet after the mast broke.
In the night from 8 to 9 May, GUYOT environnement – Team Europe had lost its mast in a storm shortly before the final of the fourth leg. Instead of Newport/USA, the crew headed for Halifax in Canada, shipped the yacht to Hamburg and was finally able to repair the damage to the hull, foils and rudder in a repair feat of only six days, as well as provide the replacement mast from 11th Hour Racing, which had come from Lorient/France. It is the second time GUYOT environnement – Team Europe has stood up after a knockdown, following the hull damage in the Southern Ocean on 1 March. In sporting terms, the European team can no longer climb from last place in The Ocean Race ranking. But it shows that this toughest sailing race around the world writes many more stories than just the sporting side.