GUYOT Environment-Team Europe go back to The Ocean Race. He has won his race against time and it is expected to arrive in time for the start of stage 6 from Aarhus. The boat, which is at the Knierim shipyard in Kiel to continue polishing the mast, blades and rudder, will head to Denmark early next week with the aim of continuing to compete in this round-the-world tour. After breaking the mast a little more than 600 miles from Newport, in stage 4, and also not being able to participate in stage 5, Guyot is finally smiling and it is expected to see him sail in the last two stages of this edition of The Ocean Race .
Efforts to bring the boat from Canada have been ongoing and logistical issues were resolved with the help of GAC Pindar and the financial gap was bridged thanks to the common support and solidarity of many race stakeholders. “This return is only possible thanks to a great collaboration between The Ocean Race family, who worked incredibly hard at different levels to help us get back in the race. It was not only a question of whether the repair was technically possible in such a tight time frame, but also of establishing the financing for it. We get support from all sides. The Ocean Race committed to us and all the other teams helped”, reported team principal Jens Kuphal.
“A special thanks to Biotherm, who showed unmatched solidarity and sportsmanship in giving us what we needed most. And 11th Hour Racing Team went above and beyond to help us acquire their replacement mast on very favorable terms. The Holcim-PRB team also contributed to help us get here. But the truth is that all our friends on the teams we normally race against came together to see us get this chance to get back on the start line in Aarhus. And none of this would have been possible without the leadership and contributions of The Ocean Race organization. Over the last two weeks, our team has grown even more. After the abandonment of the section of the Southern Ocean, the dismasted was the second fall. But we rise again. We want to make the impossible possible once again and bring the ship to the starting line in Aarhus.”, warned an excited Kuphal.
The skipper Benjamin Dutreux experienced a roller coaster of emotions and explained that “it was not easy to make decisions. Over the last 15 days we have had many conversations with a large number of people to see how feasible it would be to rejoin the race from a financial point of view. Inevitably the question of stopping the race arose, but this option has always been the last. It has been like a sword of Damocles hanging over my head since the dismasting, but deep down I was convinced that we were going to find the necessary solutions to get back on track. We have established our base camp there at the Knierim Shipyard. The German side of the campaign has local contacts and was able to organize support labor to be able to repair the ship in five days.”
Gunnar Knierim and Steffen Müller, heads of the Kiel Knierim shipyard, commented that “we are ready for such a firefighting mission. That is what our work is about. Economic thought only comes second here. When the yacht arrived we went to work with great enthusiasm. It’s great to be involved in this project. There’s finally a real racing ship in the room again”.
The challenges faced by the Guyot have been innumerable as the mast broke and the hull, foils and rudders suffered damage. Currently, eight boatbuilders are working around the clock because the keel suspension needs to be repaired. The 11th Hour Racing Team’s blank mast must now be fitted with wiring and technical equipment to fit the boat. The replacement mainsail needs new battens. The works have already advanced considerably in recent days, so it is planned to take the yacht out of the shipyard room on Monday and hang the keel and foils. On Monday evening she will be put into the water in the Kiel Canal, so that the sails can be hoisted on Tuesday. Benjamin Dutreux, on his optimistic side, added that “Despite everything, here we are. The pieces of the puzzle have been assembled and we have given the ‘forward’. We are going to have to fight even harder over the next few days to carry out this mission and make it to the start in Aarhus, but we are more determined than ever.”