No one will forget Leg 7 of this Volvo Ocean Race. Already reeling from the death of Hans Horrevoets the fleet are having to come to terms with the abandonment of Movistar.
Its worth remembering the debate the crew had after their near sinking in the southern ocean. As reported here, one crewman asked what could be said to their kids if the boat sinks and they don't come back. Another said he had "zero faith in the boat and the people fixing it right now".
As the figure above shows, the forecast for the western approaches (from here) is for force 10 storms, the type that ripped the Fastnet fleet apart in the 1979 race as described in this great book. Understandable the crew of Movistar took the safe option of transferring to another boat, and the nearest was the already bereft ABN2.
Their sister ship ABN1, called Black Betty in happier days, is already in Portsmouth. Mike Sanderson now knows he has won this Volvo Ocean Race.
But no one is celebrating today.
Figure from team.abnamro.com