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May 22, 2006 22:33 0 comments


There was an absolutely fantastic reception for ABN AMRO TWO as they arrived in Gun Wharf Quays, Portsmouth at about 9 pm Monday evening.

There were a lot of mixed emotions; joy that the nine crew had returned safely and sadness that it was not the full ten.

The dockside clapped for what seemed ages but obviously it was a sobre occasion as well and there was a huge amount of respect shown by the on lookers.To be honest with you it was a real choker andseveral of the crew coming in were smiling but with big wads of tears streaming from there eyes

Only racing teams and Volvo personnel were allowed on the dock and there was good representation from all of the competing crews including most of the Movistar team that ABN AMRO TWO had saved off the Cornish coast.Glenn Bourke and virtually all of the Volvo Ocean Race staff were there as well.

It was a very emotional occasion and it was a fantastic example of how wholesome a sport yachting is.

The crew of ABN AMRO TWO may be young but they have had two life changeing experiences since leaving New York. In a funny way the tragedy and heroism that they have shown has really brought the heart back into this race.

Three cheers for ABN AMRO TWO, all of them including Hans.


Part of Volvo Ocean Race press release below..

Update 1908GMT At 1908GMT and 34 seconds, ABN AMRO TWO finally concluded Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

This has been one of the most traumatic legs of the Volvo Ocean Race, and of the Whitbread race too for that matter. Lives have been lost before, boats have been abandoned, but never before in the full glare of modern mass, global, communications.

The crew of Sebasitien Josse’s boat will be feeling an amazing mix of emotion now that they have finished the leg and they don’t have the concentration of the race to keep their minds focussed. The tragedy of the loss of crewmate Hans Horrevoets will be uppermost in the thoughts of them all, but the rest of their leg reads like the incident report of a whole round the world race, not a transatlantic leg.

They battled 50 knot winds while putting aside their status as the kids of the race and, had they simply completed the race from New York to Portsmouith, they would have earned their spurs. But they then achieved the virtually impossible by sailing back in horrendous gale conditions to recover their crewmate Hans after he had been washed overboard. They worked for hours to try to resuscitate him and then had to continue towards shore with his body aboard.

If that one tragedy wasn’t enough to cope with, they then had to go to the rescue of the movistar crew who’s boat was struggling with a loose keel.

In a textbook operation they recovered the ten men from movistar after they abandoned ship and, escorted by HMS Mersey, brought their packed boat to the shelter of Falmouth where Hans’ body was transferred to a Royal Netherlands Navy Frigate for it’s journey home, and tranferred movistar’s crew into RIBs so that they could be taken ashore.

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