News

Published: Wednesday, 01 April 2015

Dongfeng Race Team announced Tuesday, March 31 they plan to retire from Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race after breaking their mast in the Southern Ocean off the coast of Argentina. 

Dongfeng Call It Quits In Leg 5 Of Volvo Ocean Race

(Photo by Sam Greenfield / Dongfeng Race Team)

Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier had considered attempting to re-join the 6,776-nautical mile leg from Auckland to Itajaí, Brazil after arriving in Ushuaia, Argentina earlier that day. However, rounding Cape Horn with unfit sails and rigging would be too risky.

Dongfeng Call It Quits In Leg 5 Of Volvo Ocean Race 1

(Photo by Yann Riou / Dongfeng Race Team)

By motoring to Itajaí, the team will buy some time to make the repairs ready to start Leg 6 to Newport - although it will still be tight. Even motor sailing, the trip to Itajaí will take 10-12 days. The fleet is due to depart on April 19.

Dongfeng Call It Quits In Leg 5 Of Volvo Ocean Race 5

(Photo by Yann Riou / Dongfeng Race Team)

Dongfeng Race Team plan to leave Ushuaia for Itajaí on the evening of April 1.

At 0315 on Monday, Mar 30, a sickening crack signalled to Caudrelier and his crew that the top section of the mast had fractured, leaving the boat without full manoeuvrability.

Dongfeng Call It Quits In Leg 5 Of Volvo Ocean Race 4

For the rookie Chinese sailors the experience has been shocking, scary and bewildering - starkly in contrast to the professional crew who know how to manage these situations.

"In this short 10 minutes, my dream has been crushed," says Liu Xue (Black). "We've been through so many suffering days before. We fought so hard just for this."

The decision means that Dongfeng Race Team, who were joint leaders with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) at the start of Leg 5, will collect eight points for a Did Not Finish (DNF) result.

In a position report at 1840 UTC on Tuesday, March 31, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing led by 8.8 nautical miles from Cape Horn pace-setters, Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA).

www.dongfengraceteam.cn

www.volvooceanrace.com