Chris Nicholson’s stranded Team Vestas Wind crew were finally on their way back to civilization on Tuesday after two days sitting on a remote “sand pit” in the Indian Ocean where there was a risk of shark attacks.
The Volvo Ocean Race team dramatically grounded their boat after ploughing into a reef on St Brandon archipelago on Saturday and were forced to abandon it in the early hours of the following day, before wading through knee-deep water to a dry position.
They were then picked up by a coast guard boat from the nearby Ile du Sud, a near deserted islet with no communications with the outside world.
The islet is serviced weekly by a 20m fishing vessel called Eliza from Mauritius, which is about 430km away to the southwest. A trip to the holiday island takes more than a day to complete.
Australian skipper Nicholson’s nine-strong team finally were on their way after taking the Eliza on Tuesday. From there, they plan to fly to Abu Dhabi at the end of the week.
Neil Cox, the team’s shore crew chief, told volvooceanrace.com on Tuesday: “We’ve had nine guys sitting on a sand pit in the middle of the Indian Ocean. You’d think it’s a bad movie. You sit there and talk to the coast guard and they’re telling us about everything we’re dealing with on the technical side, then they’re asking me to warn the guys that the reef is riddled full of sharks and barracuda and God knows what else.”
“They’re telling me about a fisherman they found out there who’d been basically mauled by a barracuda and there was barely much of him to deal with,” Cox said. “You’re sitting there going: ‘Yeah, well, next time I talk to Nico [Nicholson] I might remind him that if they are wading out there in the reef, keep their eyes open.’”
The team was to arrive in Mauritius mid-morning yesterday with literally the clothes they have on their backs, Cox said.
“We want to make sure that even the simple things are covered; a clean T-shirt, undies, a toothbrush, a bit of food,” he said. “The coast guard here did a flyover yesterday and they parachuted in cans of Coke, and chocolate and cookies.”
The incident happened on Leg 2 of nine in the nine-month offshore marathon which is to finish on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The team are hoping to retrieve the boat from the reef, but there is a big question mark over whether it can be repaired to return to the race.
A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympic Games has said that he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu, was paid US$8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, financial records showed. Takahashi said the work included lobbying International Olympic Committee (IOC) members such as Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital
If British industry succeeds in saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would in part be thanks to the pioneering role played by Formula One (F1) racing teams in the country. Seven of F1’s 10 teams have joined forces with leading aerospace and engineering firms to ramp up production of ventilators, while Mercedes has also worked with medics and academics to produce an alternative breathing aid. Normally obsessed with improving the performance of cars that race at more than 320kph, the teams are stripping back lifesaving devices and using computer simulation to test whether more simplified models can be mass produced. The seven
For many in Japan, the postponement of the Olympic Games is a heartbreaking necessity, but for a small and motley crew opposed to the Games altogether, it does not go far enough. “Damn it — we absolutely reject postponement. The Olympics should be canceled and abolished,” an umbrella group of anti-Games advocates wrote on Twitter after the historic delay to this year’s Olympics was announced. Just minutes before Tuesday’s dramatic decision, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, a handful of protesters gathered in central Tokyo to hold one of their regular demonstrations against the Games. “We’ve been doing a monthly rally for various reasons.
STILL MAJOR: Next month’s draft is to be televised, but the clubs are to conduct procedures with only a limited number of people present, the NFL commissioner said An NFL draft handled remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic is the latest twist to an event that has become as popular as any professional football happening, short of the NFL Super Bowl. On Thursday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell alerted NFL teams in a memo that the dates of this year’s draft are to remain April 23 to 25, and the eight owners who comprise the NFL Management Council Executive Committee unanimously endorsed moving forward as planned. So next month’s draft, originally set for Las Vegas, is to have a pretty much spartan look. “All clubs should now be doing the necessary planning