14th edition of The Ocean Race Ends with GAC Onboard, Yet Again
Record-breaking third time as official logistics provider
Photo courtesy of Sailing Energy | The Ocean Race.
After six months, 32,000 nautical miles, eight stopovers on four continents, two broken masts, a handful of foil replacements and countless urgent repairs, the yachts competing in The Ocean Race (“the Race”) crossed the finish line in Genova, Italy - and GAC Pindar has been at their side throughout.
The overall winner was the 11th Hour Racing Team, the first American-flagged team to win in the 50-year history of the Race.
The end of the 14th edition of the epic sailing challenge marks a milestone for GAC Pindar, as the only official logistics provider supporting the event three times in a row. That meant setting up base camps at each of the stopovers at Cabo Verde, Cape Town (South Africa), Itajai (Brazil), Newport (U.S.), Aarhus (Denmark), The Hague and, finally, Genova, to provide vital event logistics and freight forwarding support for the teams, race stakeholders and media covering the event. And as each new leg of the race began, they packed up and moved everything to the next destination.
Throughout the Race, the GAC crew were poised to respond with solutions when an emergency arose. The first major challenge came during Leg 4 from Itajai to Newport, Rhode Island, when Team Holcim-PRB lost their mast off the coast of Brazil. A Portuguese-speaking member of the GAC Pindar team flew to Rio de Janeiro to meet the yacht as it sailed into port under jury rig, while arrangements were made to send the stricken boat to Newport, arrange for a new mast to be delivered, and have the boat ready to join the Race for Leg 5. Despite the dismasting, Team Holcim-PRB finished the overall Race in second place.
GAC also came up with the solution to allow GUYOT Environnement - Team Europe to rejoin the race after they dismasted at the end of Leg 4, enabling the team to rejoin for Leg 6.
Arrangements were also made for last-minute spares and equipment to get the 11th Hour Racing Team race-worthy after a collision in The Hague.
Sustainability and collaboration
Sustainability was one of the central messages of the Race as it circumnavigated the globe. That meant reduced freight, less time on the road, tracked CO2E emissions and fewer team members on-site.
“This edition of the Race saw a reduction in freight requirements as all involved made efforts to reduce emissions through more locally based procurement, but the demands in terms of physical work, planning and implementing the logistics plan remained the same,” said Jeremy Troughton, GAC Pindar’s general manager.
“The tight race schedule meant solid logistics planning was crucial, with multiple routings to ensure all race stakeholders had their equipment at the right place at the right time. This was achieved with the dedication of our team, their extensive knowledge gained from the past two editions of the Race and the good working relationships with our customers, agents and suppliers at each port of call. Collaboration was key.”
To ensure everything was in place at each stopover, the GAC Pindar crew worked closely with local GAC offices.