Portsmouth, England – May 31, 2006 – The Volvo Ocean Race sailors, teams, families and sponsors all put on their Sunday best for the Portsmouth prize giving on Tuesday, May 30.
Set in exquisite English countryside at the glorious Goodwood House, the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 showed their international friends the splendid heritage that surrounds Portsmouth.
Arriving to the sounds of a classical string quartet, the 600 guests were ushered into the great hall of the spectacular country house for a champagne reception. Dinner was served in a huge marquee and the prize giving began with a poignant tribute to Hans Horrevoets, the ABN AMRO TWO crew member who was tragically lost overboard on leg seven. A moving video paid tribute to Hans, the happy family man and distinguished sailor character, who will be missed by everyone. This prompted the first prize of the night, the Musto Seamanship Award.
This prize was awarded, by Bouwe Bekking, skipper of movistar, to the crew of ABN AMRO TWO who saved the lives of his entire 10-man crew, when movistar was abandoned after taking on water. The crew of ABN AMRO TWO showed great bravery in standing by the stricken yacht considering that only a few days had passed since their own tragedy had occurred. They followed this with a text book rescue as the movistar crew were transferred to ABN AMRO TWO, and footage shot of the whole procedure by both crews was shown on the large screens, to an awestruck audience.
This lead seamlessly on to the next award of the evening, the Media Award which was presented by Glenn Bourke, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, to Bouwe Bekking and the crew of movistar. A cheque for $1000 was given for capturing the footage of the dramatic rescue. On receiving the cheque, Bouwe Bekking promptly handed it over to Sebastien Josse, the skipper of ABN AMRO TWO, for the Hans Horrevoets Memorial fund in a generous and moving gesture.
The next prize to be awarded was the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Environmental Award, which went to Will Oxley, the navigator on Brunel, for his insight into the over fishing of cod of the Grand Banks of New Foundland, sent by email as the boat passed through the region.
Finally, the Waterford Trophies were presented for the leg places in reverse finishing order. Pirates of the Caribbean went up on stage to collect third place in leg seven from New York to Portsmouth. Next up was the Ericsson Racing Team who scored their best result in an offshore race and was delighted with their second place trophy.
The glittering ceremony closed with the triumphant first place prize, which went to the exuberant crew of ABN AMRO ONE. Skipper Mike Sanderson thanked his crew, designer Juan Kouyoumdjian and shore team for all their efforts to make TEAM ABN AMRO such a success and said that this win was for them as well. The Black Betty theme tune blasted through the marquee to loud cheers and applause.
The evening concluded with the big band sound of Rufus Stone, and the crowd danced and celebrated the night away.
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