The crew of ABN AMRO 2 speak in detail about the death of a crew-mate and the rescue of Movistar

At a press conference held in Portsmouth yesterday the crew of ABN AMRO 2 spoke in detail about the events leading up to the death of a crew-mate and the rescue of 10 others from competing yacht Movistar.

The skipper of ABN AMRO 2, Sebastien Josse: ‘We sailed downwind 25-30 knots wind, I was on wheel, Hans on spinnaker sheet. One nosedive and Hans was not on board. We started the procedure of rescue for Hans. He did not have a harness or life jacket.’

Simon Fisher the navigator: ‘We had all got up for a sail change, had everyone on deck. There was 12 knots of wind. During that change, the wind went from 12-14 knots up to 25 knots quite quickly.’

In the worsening conditions it appears that some of the crew went below to get harnesses on, while others, including Horrovoets remained on deck keeping the boat at top speed.

Crew member Nick Bice: ‘He [Hans] was trimming the spinnaker, the most important sail and the last person to go to get clipped on is that guy. A matter of 30 sec or a minute and he would’ve been down to put on his harness. Everyone else on deck at that time was clipped on.’

Crew-mates paid tribute to the 32-year-old’s courage, spirit and competitive attitude. Pitman Andrew Lewis recalled: ‘He was always a positive guy, first to grab a bucket to bilge the boat out, first one to strap a bucket over a cap that was leaking. None of us will forget.’

Roy Heiner the team’s technical director has said the crew will decide whether to carry on in the race and a statement will be issued later.

A spokesman for Horrovoets’s partner said: ‘We are very grateful to the crew that they were able to recover Hans under these circumstances.’

The funeral is to be held on Saturday.

For a full transcript of the conference see: