ABN AMRO TWO TEAM UPDATE

Headline: ABN AMRO TWO: latest statement
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Hans Horrevoets working below decks onboard ABN AMRO TWO ©Team ABN AMRO

Photos: L ©Team ABN AMRO R ©Oskar Kihlborg

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Thu, 18 May 2006 12:20:00 UTC

Latest statement issued by the Volvo Ocean Race: Hans Horrevoets a crew member aboard ABN AMRO TWO, one of the two ABN AMRO yachts competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005 – 2006, died earlier this morning after failing to regain consciousness after being swept overboard from the boat. The young crew, who have sailed this boat so well, are devastated.

ABN AMRO TWO was sailing downwind in 25 to 30 knots of wind under mainsail, fractional spinnaker and staysail. Sebastien Josse, skipper of ABN AMRO TWO, was at the helm, Hans, 32 of the Netherlands was trimming the spinnaker sheet, Nick Bice, Andrew Lewis and Lucas Brun were also on deck. A wave washed back down the deck and when the water cleared Hans was no longer on deck.

ABN AMRO TWO navigator Simon Fisher explained the incident, “Immediately Seb hailed a ‘man overboard’ initiated man overboard procedures and put in place GPS positioning. The spinnaker was immediately dropped, the staysail furled and the starboard dagger board lowered. The engine was switched on and we attempted to motor-sail back on a reciprocal course. Due to the strong headwinds it was decided we drop the main, and go under motor alone as it was difficult to maintain a direct course to the man overboard position.

“Once Hans was located, Simeon Tienpoint put on his dry-suit, harness and diving gear in order to assist in the recovery.

“Hans was lifted back on board and the Accident and Emergency department at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK (race emergency medical care backup) was notified that we had a major medical emergency and to stand by. In the meantime Hans was moved down below. No pulse was found so CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) was initiated by the crew. CPR was stopped at 0420GMT. Unfortunately our attempts to resuscitate him were not successful.”

ABN AMRO TWO Skipper Sebastien Josse said, “We are all devastated by the events that took place this morning and all our thoughts are for Hans’ family. I would like to stress that throughout the whole MOB (man overboard) procedure the whole crew handled themselves calmly, professionally and with the utmost maturity. It is with deep regret that we were unable to resuscitate Hans.”

Jan Berent Heukensfeldt Jansen, Managing Director of TEAM ABN AMRO said, “We are all shocked and devastated by this terrible news and our thoughts now are very much with Hans’ family. We are all aware of the risks that sailors face, but nothing can prepare you for this kind of tragedy. My thoughts are also with the crew who I understand behaved in the most professional manner and reacted immediately. I wish them a safe passage home.”

Glenn Bourke, Chief Executive Volvo Ocean Race said, “All of us at the Volvo Ocean Race are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of ABN AMRO TWO crew member Hans Horrevoets. At this time our thoughts are with Hans’ family and friends, his fellow crew members and all the members of TEAM ABN AMRO.

“Ocean racing carries inherent risks and we do our utmost to minimize those risks with the mandatory safety equipment we have on board. However, when an accident like this occurs it is a shock to everyone associated with the race. The Volvo Ocean Race family is a close-knit community and we will all lend whatever support is needed at this tragic time.”

ABN AMRO TWO is 1,420 nautical miles from Portsmouth. The boat is under sail and the crew are making their way towards landfall as quickly as possible where a decision will be made on their further participation in the race.

Hans Horrevoets

Hans Horrevoets, 32, was the oldest crew member of ABN AMRO TWO. He and his partner Petra have one daughter.

Hans was onboard ABN AMRO TWO when they broke the world 24 hour speed record for a monohull. They covered 563 miles in 24 hours on 11 January during Leg 2 of the race, from Cape Town to Melbourne.

Hans was part of the judging panel for ABN AMRO TWO and helped selected the high potential young sailors who formed the crew. He was the fifth professional crew member on board ABN AMRO TWO and joined the six high potential sailors who he helped to chose before the race. Hans was asked by Seb Josse to join the team on board after two other crew members withdrew.

As a helmsman/trimmer he brought with him a wealth of experience, including participating in the 1997-1998 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race) on board Brunel Sunergy with Roy Heiner. He also competed in a number of other high profile races and regattas.

ABN AMRO have a Guest Book for condolences on their web site. Use this link to express your thoughts.

Related story: Tributes to Hans

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