Report Shows Cause of Volvo Ocean Race Grounding

Panel finds flaws in boat's electronic charts

Mar 10, 2015
Outside Magazine
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Team Vestas Wind accident grounded Mauritius shipwreck rescue retrieval

Team Vestas Wind retrieved what they could after their boat grounded on the Cargados Carajos Shoals, Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean.    Brian Carlin/Team Vestas Wind

An independent panel commissioned by Volvo Ocean Race officials released a report Tuesday identifying faulty charts as the cause of Team Vestas Wind’s dramatic grounding in November.

Race officials commissioned Rear Admiral Chris Oxenbould of the Australian Navy, race winner Stan Honey, and Chuck Hawley of the U.S. Sailing Safety at Sea Committee to determine the cause of the grounding in the official report. They conducted numerous interviews with crew and management and assessed relevant data to determine that electronic chart flaws were to blame, reported Sailing Scuttlebutt.

The Danish Vestas Wind boat grounded in a precarious fashion on an Indian Ocean reef last November, taking it out of the race and requiring a rescue. In January, the crew vowed to return to the race. The vessel was salvaged and transported to Bergamo, Italy, where it is undergoing repairs to return in June.