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VOR: Leg 4 underway without Vestas 11th Hour skipper Charlie Enright (USA); Mark Towill (USA) leadin

MELBOURNE –There’s been a big, last-minute crew change aboard Vestas 11th Hour Racing for Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Skipper Charlie Enright (USA) will miss the leg as he and his family deal with an ongoing medical situation. Enright plans to re-join the team in Hong Kong while Mark Towill (USA) will take over as skipper for the leg.

“The depth and solidarity of our team is what's allowing me to take some time away to focus on my family,’’ Enright said from his home in Rhode Island. “I think this is a real testament to what Mark and I have been able to put together. “I know that under the leadership of Mark and navigator Simon Fisher (GBR), the team is in good hands, and I look forward to getting back with the group in Hong Kong.”

Towill and Enright are in their second VOR campaign together. The Ivy Leaguers led the crew to victory in Leg 1 and Vestas is tied for second with Dongfeng Racing after three legs, six points behind pre-race favorite MAPFRE.

Phil Harmer (AUS) and Hannah Diamond (GBR) will return to the Vestas 11th Hour Racing crew for Leg 4, while Jena Hansen (DEN) rotates off the boat.

The 6,000nm Leg 4 to Hong Kong has just started (1900 Pacific Time Monday) with the fleet racing out of Melbourne's Port Philip Bay, then east into the Bass Strait, and up around the East Coast of Australia toward the Solomon Islands. See the latest on the Volvo Ocean Race website here.

Below is a brief video, courtesy of the Volvo Ocean Race media, featuring the five of the seven Leg 4 skippers including (in the dark blue t-shirt) Mark Towill, the Vestas 11th Hour Racing "Team Director" who also races on the boat but will be acting as Skipper on Leg 4.

[Sailing Illustrated cannot help but mention our disappointment that this otherwise interesting video does not have captions that ID the skippers. We know who they are; some of you will, too. But, frankly, a surprising lapse by VOR media, and no way to present some of the stars of our sport to the general public via YouTube. –TFE]

Vestas 11th Hour Racing will be without skipper Charlie Enright for Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Melbourne to Hong Kong. Mark Towill will lead the crew as skipper.