It’s hard to find words. There is nothing to describe the sorrow that gripped GUYOT environnement – Team Europe after the collision with 11th Hour Racing Team in the start phase of the final leg of The Ocean Race. There is no doubt that the fault lay with the European campaign when the black yacht was too late in taking avoiding action on the upwind leg of the Inport course in relation to the crossing yacht from 11th Hour Racing Team and drilled her bowsprit into the stern section of the US yacht. The only good news in this dramatic situation is that there are no injuries – both to the 11th Hour Racing Team and to GUYOT environnement – Team Europe. “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.”
The damage to their own boat does not matter to the team of skipper Benjamin Dutreux at this moment. Their thoughts are exclusively with the 11th Hour Racing Team, the leading team in this The Ocean Race and the friendly team of skipper Charlie Enright, who made it possible for GUYOT environnement – Team Europe to return to the competition.
Now to have affected this race in this way fills the entire GUYOT environnement – Team Europe with deepest regret. The jury will deliberate and a decision will be made. The GUYOT environnement – Team Europe will not resume the race, even if its own damage could be repaired. The retirement from the leg also commands respect for the 11th Hour Racing Team, which sailed this race with the greatest sportsmanship and dominated in an impressive manner. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe can only hope that Charlie Enright and his team will be rewarded for their outstanding performance over the past five months. “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.”