April 22, 2018 / 6:39 PM / 8 months ago

Volvo Ocean Race back to full strength as eighth leg gets underway

(Reuters) - All seven boats took the starting line as the eighth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race got underway in Itajai, Brazil on Sunday, with Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag returning to the water after losing a crew member.

Scallywag were forced to drop out of the seventh leg from Auckland to Itajai after John Fisher fell overboard on March 26, about 1,400 nautical miles from Cape Horn in South America.

They faced a quick turnaround time to have the boat prepared for racing but were ready for the 5,700 nautical mile leg north to Newport, U.S. with assistance from other teams in the race.

“We’re grateful for the support we’ve had from the other competitors and everyone who has helped out,” Scallywag skipper David Witt told the race’s official website.

“It’s a real testament to the character of the people who do this race.”

Vestas 11th Hour Racing also retired from the seventh leg but they were looking forward to another challenging stage, with light winds in the forecast for the first few days.

“Newport is a sailing mecca of the United States,” Vestas’ Charlie Enright said.

“People are passionate about their sailing there and it will be an amazing experience. We want to get a great result sailing into Newport and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng Race Team are at the top of the overall standings with 46 points, one point ahead of Spanish team MAPFRE.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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