As the boats prepare to leave Portsmouth, teams have been checking and re-checking their keels

As the boats prepare to leave Portsmouth for the next leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, hopes of finding abandoned yachtmovistarlook slim. The remaining teams have been checking and re-checking their keels since their fellow competitor took on water last Saturday, forcing the 10-man crew to evacuate.
movistarskipper Bouwe Bekking made the decision to abandon ship after the aft end of the keel pivot bearing broke away from the hull. The crew took to the liferaft and transferred toABN AMRO TWO, a yacht already stricken by the death of crewmate Hans Horrevoets (click here) .

Less than 24 hours after the abandonment,movistar’s sat comms failed – possibly tripped by water flooding the electrics – and the shore crew were no longer able to track the vessel.

movistarwas one of the four yachts in the seven-boat race designed by Farr Yacht Design. Unlike the last generation Volvo 60s, the 70ft yachts have canting keels, which swing out 40 degrees either side. It’s not known if the fault was in the design or the build. Either way, insurers, surveyors and other interested parties have been streaming into the yachts while they’ve been moored at Gunwharf Quays to inspect the keels.

The six remaining yachts depart for Rotterdam at 1730 this afternoon from a startline just off Southsea castle. This will be the penultimate leg of the 31,500-mile race, which ends in Gothenburg on 17 June. For details see the website