Goodbye, see you at the fly-by!

The GUYOT environnement – Team Europe completed the repair work on the yacht faster than hoped and set sail from Kiel for Aarhus on Tuesday evening. Kiel’s mayor Dr Ulf Kämpfer came to the spontaneous farewell party at the pier of Knierim Yachtbau GmbH shortly before departure and wished the crew all the best for the two remaining legs in The Ocean Race, especially for the fly-by from Kiel on Friday afternoon. While skipper Benjamin Dutreux has already travelled by car to Aarhus, co-skipper Robert Stanjek made it clear once again how tight the schedule for the repairs was.

The quick work over the past six days by the GUYOT environnement – Team Europe’s own tech crew as well as a crew of ten international boat builders, which Mark Pickel from Kiel had called together for the job, made it possible for a pilot to go on board for the lock passage as late as 7.30 pm on Tuesday. The transfer crew with Phillip Kasüske and Sébastien Simon as well as technicians will then sail through the night to Aarhus. “According to the routing, we should arrive in the morning with light winds. We might even have to wait a bit before entering the harbour, as our shore crew doesn’t leave Kiel until Wednesday morning and then has to prepare everything for mooring,” says navigator Simon. Robert Stanjek and Annie Lush will also arrive in Aarhus by car.

The crew for the leg will be Benjamin Dutreux, Robert Stanjek, Annie Lush and Phillip Kasüske, as well as onboard reporter Gauthier Lebec.

On leaving Kiel, Lord Mayor Ulf Kämpfer said: “It’s great that the team is making it back to the start line. As Lord Mayor of Kiel, I can say that we are proud – even if I didn’t contribute to it. It’s just a privilege of the office that you get to be there at such a moment.” Kämpfer outed himself as a big fan of the race: “It’s incredibly exciting and great how you can follow it on the tracker. The fact that the fleet is returning to Kiel in a fly-by on 9 June, exactly 21 years after the victory of the ‘Illbruck’, gives hope for more. After all, Aarhus was also a fly-by in the last race and is now a stage venue.”

Robert Stanjek addressed a big thank you to the dedicated boat builders from France, Italia, Spain, Sweden and Germany who made the almost impossible possible in the halls within a few days. “In the night from 8 to 9 May, our mast broke in the North Atlantic. And shortly afterwards – in one of the darkest hours – Mark Pickel called me and offered his help. And shortly afterwards he had a plan for how it could be done. It then took a while to get all the dots together.

Last Wednesday, the yacht arrived here in Kiel and everything was already perfectly prepared. But until Thursday, everyone first worked on positive suspicion. Only then was it clear that we could also manage it economically. It’s great that we now have a floating boat again. But there is still a lot of work to do on the way to Aarhus for the transfer crew to set the yacht up for racing mode.”

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