Published: Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Team Vestas Wind’s stranded Volvo Ocean 65 has been retrieved from a remote reef in the Indian Ocean and is heading on a round-trip via Mauritius and Malaysia back to Europe.

After three days’ planning, the Volvo Ocean Race boat was gingerly floated clear of the reef in St Brandon on Sunday evening, where it had laid since Nov 29, and on to a nearby lagoon.

Team Vestas Winds Boat Set Free At Last

From there it was lifted on to a waiting Maersk Line ship to complete the delicate first stage of an operation, which could yet see the boat being reconstructed.

Skipper Chis Nicholson led his crew to safety just over three weeks ago after the boat ran aground on the reef, 430 kilometres from Mauritius, going at about 17 knots in the middle of Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Team Vestas Winds Boat Set Free At Last 1

“We have been in contact with the shore manager of Team Vestas Wind, Neil Cox, throughout and were so relieved to hear that the operation to lift the boat intact on to the ship was a complete success thanks to great teamwork involving Maersk, our team, Volvo Ocean Race and the local people,” says Team Vestas Wind CEO and Vestas Chief Marketing Officer, Morten Albaek. “For us, the environmental side of this project was a key objective. It’s mission accomplished.”

Team Vestas will make an announcement about possibly returning to the race by Jan 3.