Vestas 11th Hour Racing will return to the Volvo Ocean Race on stage 7, which starts on March 18 from Auckland, New Zealand. By that time, repairs to the boat, which was badly damaged in the final stage 4 collision with a fishing boat, will be fully completed.
For the fishing boat, the consequences of the collision were much more serious: the vessel sank and one of its crew members was killed.
Vestas did not finish in the fourth stage and missed the next two. The damaged boat was transported from Hong Kong to New Zealand on January 28. A new hull section was molded at the Persico Marine shipyard in Italy and then shipped to Auckland, where Vestas engineers glued it into the hull in place of the damaged section in two weeks.
Stage 7 from Auckland to Itajai has approximately 6,700 miles. The Volvo Ocean Race fleet will cross the treacherous Southern Ocean, round Cape Horn and into Brazil. The stage is preceded by a port race, which is scheduled for March 10.