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VOR Breaking: SI has the scoop on the Vestas collision; you're not going to believe it

SAN FRANCISCO – One hears from a normally highly reliable source close to Vestas 11th Hour Racing that the collision Vestas had early Saturday morning (Hong Kong time) 30nm from the HKG finish line was with a fishing vessel with up to ten crew aboard. Reportedly the fishing boat sank, and Vestas proceded to help rescue the crew from the water. That would explain the back-and-forth track of Vestas in the immediate vicinity of the incident immediately after....

Graphic courtesy of a post in the the Sailing Anarchy Ocean Racing Forum.

But apparently that's not all. One of the fishing vessel crew was seriously injured and was airlifted by helicopter to a Hong Kong-area hospital. That would explain the slow downwind drift of Vestas in the hours after the incident.

A couple hours ago AkzoNobel was asked by VOR Race Control to divert downwind (southwest) from their track to the finish line to assist Vestas. This they did, and escorted Vestas briefly, but it now looks from the Race Tracker that Akzo have returned to racing toward the finish line. Meanwhile Vestas has also resumed her course toward HKG, under power, with rather more crew than they started this leg with?

Just a few minutes ago the Race Tracker updated to show that Vestas 11th Hour Racing as "RET" for retired, and she is no longer displayed on the tracker. SI managed to get a screen grab of the tracker just before the Vestas retirement....

Akzo is purple, and Vestas (since retired and no longer shown on the tracker) is orange.