We will be back

The GUYOT environnement – Team Europe yacht has been craned back into the water on Monday after the hull damage was repaired. After the mast was set and some tests were carried out on the water, the crew with Sébastien Simon, Phillip Kasüske, Jimmy le Baut and Clovis Gautier as well as onboard reporter Charles Drapeau started today, Thursday, in Cape Town/South Africa for the transfer to Brazil. The routing for the passage has calculated around 4500 nautical miles of distance in a northerly route around the St Helena High. The predicted arrival is on 30 March. In Itajaí, the European team plans to rejoin The Ocean Race and compete in the fourth leg of the world race.

For Phillip Kasüske, the start of the transfer marks his return on board. The 28-year-old from Berlin had taken a scheduled break for the third leg. After the abandonment of the leg and the repair, the crew planning will be rearranged for the further legs: “For the next leg from Itajaí to Newport, we want to sail with the same crew as on Leg 3 – i.e. with Benjamin Dutreux, Robert Stanjek, Sébastien Simon and Annie Lush. I am sure that the team will be highly motivated. In the meantime, I’ll help where I can and then get back into the race in Newport.” Looking back at the repairs that have been made, Kasüske is impressed and expectant for the rest of The Ocean Race: “The shore crew did an insanely good job to get the boat back in shape so quickly. From Brazil on, we can fully attack. On the passage we will of course sail very carefully and double and triple test the whole boat. In Itajaí there will be time to make optimisations. The race is not even half over yet.”


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The transfer crew will be scrutinising the yacht as it crosses the Atlantic, which is why two members of the Tech Team, Jimmy le Baut and Clovis Gautier, are also on board. “After the repairs, it’s the best opportunity for me to get to know the boat. I’m happy to be on board and I think we’ll be across the Atlantic in around 15 days. The transfer is of course mainly about getting the yacht to Brazil without damage. But of course we will also check all systems to bring the yacht in the best shape to the start of the fourth leg. For me, it is the first Atlantic crossing on an Imoca. But I have been involved in several Vendée Globe campaigns,” reports Jimmy le Baut.

Benjamin Dutreux, skipper of GUYOT environnement – Team Europe, and co-skipper Robert Stanjek will follow the crossing from home and will not join the team again until the beginning of April in Itajaí.

Benjamin Dutreux, skipper of GUYOT environnement – Team Europe, and co-skipper Robert Stanjek will follow the transfer from home to join the team in Itajaí in early April.

“It was really a tough job because there was an area of several square metres delaminated. It was the right decision to return to Cape Town. Because with the damage we wouldn’t have been able to sail through the Southern Ocean,” Benjamin Dutreux reported on a serious situation in the Southern Ocean: “The damage was so extensive that we assumed it would take about a month to repair in a shipyard. But we knew we had to do it in a week. It was really a great technical and human achievement. We had five men under the boat and three men in the boat laminating. It’s a good example that you can achieve a lot with great man power and that you should never give up. It further bonded the team together.”

Robert Stanjek pointed out again that the team had been lucky after the damage: “We are happy that we have overcome this crisis. Our workshop and storage containers were still in Cape Town, we were able to use all our tools and access our materials. It was a good boat job that was done.” Despite all the disappointment, the team will throw all its strength into the next legs: “We are more motivated than before to show what we can do.”

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