To say the 65-foot sailing yacht, Team Vestas Wind, encountered a setback in the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race would be a bit of an understatement. On November 29, the large yacht grounded on a small island called “Íle du Sud” in the Indian Ocean. All nine crew members were safe, but the ship itself is damaged and has been abandoned.
According to gCaptain.com, the problem is that many of the racers in the 38,739 nautical mile race are relying on electronic charts to do their navigating. It appears as though using these charts alone is what led Team Vestas Wind into the rocky area in the first place, a spot that other captains in the race were able to just narrowly miss.
“This incident is proof that although they’re convenient, using electronic charts alone is not enough to ensure a safe journey,” says Ron Walz, president of OceanGrafix. “There are just too many things that can go wrong, and we believe it’s wise to also refer to a paper chart.”
Although Team Vestas Wind is out early in the race, there are still plenty of months to go before the expected ending date of June 27, 2015. We hope the captains of the six other competing boats can navigate safely. Stay updated on the race or see a video of the crash at VolvoOceanRace.com.