So far, the GUYOT environnement – Team Europe around skipper Benjamin Dutreux has always gotten back up after the setbacks and has shown an incredible resilience. But after the crash at the start of the seventh leg with 11th Hour Racing Team, the European campaign has to announce that it is ending the adventure of this world race. Sportingly, the team had already withdrawn from the stage. Now the provisional repair work on the bow section of the yacht has been completed to such an extent that the boat will be transferred to Les Sables d’Olonne, Benjamin Dutreux’s team base. The yacht will not be sailed to its destination in Genoa: “It’s too risky to take the boat all the way to Genoa with our temporary repairs and we’ll probably arrive after the end of the Grand Final period in Genoa”, announce Benjamin. He will be onboard with Charles Drapeau (OBR) and Tristan Estèves (boat builder). The delivery should take around 4-5 days.
Nevertheless, GUYOT environnement – Team Europe hopes to bring his team together one last time in Genoa to show their respect to the winners and competitors of The Ocean Race and to celebrate together the conclusion of the 14th edition of the world race. “We offered 11th Hour Racing our help. But they have a very strong team and they managed their repairs. We could only give them coffee and cake. 11th Hour really did an amazing job. We hope they reach Genoa in time for the grand final,” explains Benjamin Dutreux, skipper of GUYOT environnement – Team Europe.
Dutreux, who was heartbroken after the crash and tearfully inspected the damage to the 11th Hour Racing Team’s yacht, is now looking ahead again and explains how things will continue on his team’s side: “The next steps will be to bring the boat home and see what we can do. There’s still quite a lot of damage on the bow, so there’ll be a lot of work. Right now the aim is to be in time for the Transat Jaques Vabre, and above all in good conditions.”
Meanwhile, Thomas Cardrin, head of the tech team, gives a detailed insight into the damage to the yacht: “The bowsprit is broken in the middle. We have taken it off and sanded down the sharp carbon edges at the break. The most serious damage, however, is to the bow. We have a big hole in the hull, in an area that is built differently. Some are no core, some are foam core, some are monolithic. So we had to run down most of the broken carbon, rebuild the outer skin with six layers of carbon. Now we are working on the core from the inside. We are trying to bridge the inner skin on the outer skin to make sure it sticks together. The repairs will be done for a safe delivery.”
“I think we’ve learnt a lot from this race, which I’m sure will help us in the future. Now we just need to get home, settle down a bit and manage to have a boat at 100% ready for the transatlantic race, which is coming up fast.” Despite all the work, travelling to Genoa is a matter of course for him: “Yes of course, I hope we can go to Genoa all together with the whole team, I think it’s a moment to bring this edition to a proper end. I hope we will welcome 11th Hour in Genoa. That could be a nice end of the race after six months.”